Meeting with Yourself: The Key to Personal Productivity

By Alan Gehringer

dateWed, May 20, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

If you do not operate your business using Rhythm or the Rockefeller Habits, you might be asking yourself "why would I have a meeting with myself?"  Let me explain, because I know we have all heard the old saying, it is okay to ask yourself questions, just don’t answer them!  Let me start with some background that will help set the stage.  The fastest way to fix your weekly team meeting is to set the expectation that everyone come prepared, no excuses!

Effective companies develop 3-5 year plans to help them achieve their 10-25 year Big Hairy Audacious Goal  (BHAG).  In addition, these companies develop robust annual plans and quarterly plans to continuously work on the right priorities to reach their long-term goals.  In order to have effective quarters that consequently lead up to effective years, we have to run great weekly team meetings (you can get your weekly meeting agenda there too!) with our executive teams and supporting groups.  The only way to have an effective weekly meeting is to prepare for it before hand.  How many of you have attended meetings where people show up unprepared and either try to think on the fly or lack the information they need to contribute effectively?  I have participated in many of these meetings through the years.  In order to avoid this, we need to have a meeting with ourselves each week to prepare for the meeting with our team.  This is effective whether you use Rhythm, the Rockefeller Habits or neither.  Let me tell you how we do it.

It is simple; the key is to allow fifteen to thirty minutes each week, before the start of the weekly meeting to reflect on the last week and prepare for the week ahead.  My weekly meetings are every Friday at 11:00, so I prepare each Thursday at the end of the day.  Here is what I do:

1st- Give thought to what I will share as a piece of good news with my team.  This may be something personal that happened, which is a good way to share and build relationships with team members.  It may be something professional that happened this week with a client or a project.

2nd- Update the key performance indicators (KPI’s) I am responsible for.  We developed clear success criteria at the beginning of the quarter, so now I need to status each one for the week, red, yellow, green or SuperGreen.  If I status something red or yellow, I want to add a comment as to why it is this status and what I am going to do to get it back on track.  If I do not have the answer, I will work with my team during the weekly meeting to make an adjustment or come up with a solution.

3rd- Update the company priorities I am responsible for and status them red, yellow, green or super green.  Again, if anything is red or yellow based on the success criteria, I add comment as to why and what I am doing to get it back on track to finish the quarter in the green zone. 

4th- Update the individual priorities I am responsible for.  Same drill here, by statusing red, yellow, green or SuperGreen and adding comments to the reds and yellows.  I also dig down into my action items at this point to complete these, adjust the dates on those that need to be changed or add other actions that will help accomplish the individual priority.  If I have any that are being worked by someone else, but that I am responsible for, I will follow up with that person to confirm the status.

5th- Update the all actions list.  There may be some actions that I did not review when looking at my individual priorities because they were green and I did not dig in deeper, or they may be stand alone actions.  My goal is to come to the weekly meeting with everything up to date.

6th- Create my Week-in-Sync note that I will share with the team.  The formats vary from company to company, but ours starts with stating what is the primary thing that will make next week successful. Next, what were the victories from last week that I want to celebrate with my team and also that help hold me accountable for what I accomplished. Next I list the priorities I have for the upcoming week, either related to the quarterly theme or other things that I am working on.  I do not list every single thing, just the main priorities. And finally, I list any areas that I might be stuck on.  This is my chance to talk it through with my team to see if someone can help me get un-stuck or has suggestions on how to make the appropriate adjustments to keep things moving.

7th- Lastly, I add any client or employee feedback I have gotten through the week. The good, the bad and the ugly.  We will use this information to celebrate victories, scale bright spots to other areas of the organization, or address areas of concern to remedy.

This may sound like a lot of work, but it is not.  When it all said and done, I guess I am answering my own questions, but that is okay in this situation.  Do not call in the white jackets yet.

So there you have it.  All it takes is a fifteen to thirty minute commitment each week before you enter your team meeting to get prepared.  Doing so will make your meeting run smoothly and efficiently and allow you to spend time with your team focusing on the right adjustments and solutions to keep things on track for a successful quarter.

 Good luck and execute well, Alan


Additional Rhythm Systems Meeting Resources:

How To Have Effective Weekly Staff Meetings (With Sample Agenda Template)

4 Easy Steps to Fix Your Weekly Staff Meetings [Video]

Download our weekly meeting agenda

Management Meeting Agenda: Make Your Management Meetings More Effective

8 Ways to Make Weekly Meetings Strategic vs. Tactical (Video)

Weekly Adjustment Meetings vs. Weekly Status Meetings (Infographic)

Consider using Rhythm Software to run your weekly meeting, where the status and agenda are automatically created every week to keep you on track!

Alan Gehringer


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images