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E3: Meetings that Matter

This is Episode 3, On the Episode 2, Joe came to his coach, Pete, with a question… How on earth am I supposed to inspire and motivate my team? The simple equation his coach showed him was monumental. Joe connected with his front desk employee, Quiet Cathy, and quickly learned what her professional goals were. He even showed her a brighter future at Joe’s Gym than she knew existed.


“I feel like a leader again,” Joe said as he reached for the door of Joe’s Gym.

Several days had gone by. By this point, he had met with most of the staff. He’d met with a few trainers, his sales team, and his technician. Joe felt on top of the world.

He picked up the phone and called his coach. “Pete, the one-on-one meetings with the team are going fantastic! I stopped holding group meetings and even one-to-ones with people a couple years ago because I would always feel defeated afterward. I never knew what to present. I didn’t really know why I was having meetings besides just checking a box. Frankly, it was embarrassing.”

“Joe, it’s more common than you realize. Too many people lead ineffective meetings just because they’re checking the box, like you said. But you’re doing great. You’re figuring things out in your one-to-ones, aren’t you!”

“Thanks, Pete. Yes, I am. I’m feeling more confident to get back into group meetings at some point.”

“Well, let’s discuss that a bit. I want you to notice something. When you met with Cathy, did you feel like you were trying to sell her on anything?”

“No, quite the opposite, actually. I felt like I was just chatting with a friend.”

“Write this down, Joe…”

“Conversation over presentation.”

Joe lunged over his desk to grab a pen. Pete’s words were proving to be gold, and he couldn’t miss this.

Joe repeated the phrase back to Pete very slowly as he wrote it down, “Conn-verrrrr-sation over preeee-senn-tation. Got it, Pete.”

“Conversation over presentation can apply to everything. In sales, listen to the problems your customer shares with you instead of telling them how amazing your product is. In leadership, show up curious, rather than having all the answers.”

Pete paused to be sure everything was sinking in. “Tell me more about why these meetings feel better than the ones you had before?”

“Well, I had an outline this time, albeit a very simple one. But I used the advice you gave me- The Inspiration Equation. I had an idea of where the conversation would flow for once, and I was confident in that method.”

“Great,” Pete announced. “Can you explain that to me a bit? I’d like to hear where your mindset is on this.”

“I think knowing the outcome I was seeking in our meetings helped tremendously. I wanted to awaken my team’s energy and inspiration, and I knew that these bullet points would help with that.”

Joe continued, “Too many times, I’ve had meetings just to present my thoughts, but not really to make an impact. I would finish them feeling frustrated because it was as if there was no call to action. I was basically just hoping to be heard and understood, but I wasn’t putting anything in place to ensure that my employees were gaining anything.”

“It sounds like having outcome-based agendas are important to you. ‘What is the outcome I’m shooting for in this meeting,’ right?”

Joe perked up, as if he’d never realized this before, “Exactly, Pete!”

“I want you to remember that, Joe. DO NOT EVER hold a meeting without a clear outcome in mind. You will waste your time, your employees time, and most importantly, it KILLS MORALE. Please, tell me you understand this.”

“Yes, Pete. I’ve experienced that far too many times already. If I have no clear outcome in mind, I won’t waste their time. Hey, that sounds like a little jingle!”

“No outcome in mind? Don’t waste their time!”

“Outcome-oriented meetings only! Listen, Joe. Once we talk about your operations manual and core values, I’d like to revisit this topic. Soon, I’d like to plan a team meeting. Eventually, we will craft meetings that your team leads. But I’m getting ahead of myself.”

Pete continued, “What do I want them to know, feel, and do? That’s what you need to go into your meetings with. Simple enough, right?”

“I love how simple that is. Know, feel, and do…”

Pete explained it this way… “Know- What knowledge do I want to impart on them? Am I explaining one of our protocols that people keep forgetting to do? Do I want to show them a new way of doing their job? Do I want them to know that they performed well? What do I want them to know?”

He paused and continued speaking about “feel.” “What do I want them to feel? People will forget what you said, but they’ll never forget the way you made them…”

Joe’s eyes widened, “Feel!” He said awkwardly, not realizing he was part of the show.

“Exactly. They won’t forget the way you made them feel. Meetings are no different. Before you begin the meeting, write down how you want them to feel during certain parts. And help inspire that emotion! You can do this by raising your voice. By telling a story. But you need them to feel something during your meetings. Too many meetings are a total bore. You manage a gym. Your meetings cannot be a dud!”

“Gosh, that’s so true,” Joe acknowledged. “It goes back to ‘conversation over presentation.’ Sometimes I may need to present, but I would much rather engage.”

Pete listened patiently, and once he was sure Joe was finished, he continued.

“Do. What is the entire point of this damn meeting? You need them to do something! Like we said earlier, it must be outcome-oriented! Otherwise, chuck your meeting out the window! Always, always, always, always, always, have a clear definition of what you need them to do!”


“No, sir, you said it perfectly.”

With that, Pete hung up the phone. Joe sat at his desk and thought about all the wasted hours he’d held pointless meetings with his team. “Holy smokes, I’ve wasted thousands of dollars in pointless meetings alone,” Joe thought to himself.

Joe pulled out his secret paper and wrote on it, “Pointless meetings= thousands of dollars.” He quickly threw it back into the drawer and moved on.

His journal notes for the day included the following…

  • Always have a meeting agenda

  • Know, feel, do!

  • Conversation over presentation

Head over to Episode 4, The Art of Disciplinary Action.

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Think about the meetings you have with your teams. Do you go into them knowing exactly what you need your employees to take out of it? Or do you just wing it? Do you feel motivated or deflated after your meetings? How about your people? What kind of energy are you creating within them?

What was your biggest takeaway today? Let me know in the comments! Your words are the fuel to my writing!


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