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Rhythm Blog | Effective Meetings

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

4 Steps to A Great Skip-Level Meeting and 17 Engaging Questions to Ask (Updated for 2019)

Ted Skinner Wed, Oct 30, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

What is a skip-level meeting?

As defined in an article by Jared Lewis, "In a skip-level meeting, upper-level management bypasses mid-level management to talk directly to non-managerial employees. Although there's not typically a special position known as a 'skip-level manager,' senior managers conducting these types of meetings are considered skip-level managers."  The manager meets with employees to try to better understand their team members, build trust in the organization and get a better sense of the work environment challenges facing your front line employees.  Skip level meetings for employees are just as important as they are for managers, and both should be well prepared prior to the "skip level meeting."  Done properly, the skip level meeting is an effective tool to improve communications across your organization. 

Top 10 Characteristics of a Good Facilitator [Infographic]

Barry Pruitt Wed, Oct 30, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Are your meetings the butt of work-related jokes? Why is it that we roll our eyes with disdain when our calendar is loaded with meetings, and more specifically, why do we dread the planning meetings that are so important to our strategic success? Let me ask, have you used senior team members as facilitators? If so, you’ve very likely chosen the wrong facilitator. Save yourself a bad decision before your next planning session. Don’t choose your CEO or an executive team member for strategic planning facilitation. If you do, you’ll pay for it all year (or quarter) based on the plan developed and the pain to get there.  Most executives are great at their jobs, but they don't have all of the qualities of a good facilitator.  When you are in charge, it is hard to be an active listener, which is extremely important to bring out all of the great ideas from the team.

Why You Need a Time Machine for Effective Goal Setting

Jessica Wishart Thu, Oct 10, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

If you want to set compelling and achievable goals for yourself, your teams and your company, drop everything and invent a time machine. OK—not literally, but metaphorical time travel is a key component of effective goal setting.

Why time travel? To paint a picture of success. Why is this important? Why do you need to know what success looks like?

In their classic book Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard, Chip and Dan Heath describe the importance of what they call “pointing to the destination” with a destination postcard. They argue you need “a vivid picture from the near-term future that shows what could be possible” to rally the troops behind your goal. Visualizing success in detail is motivating to the team and actually helps you achieve it.

Welcome to Charlotte!

Paige Wilcox Wed, Oct 9, 2019 @ 11:54 AM

We are thrilled to host our 5th Annual Breakthrough Conference once again in Charlotte, NC, this October 24th and 25th, at the Charlotte Marriott City Center. Charlotte is Rhythm Systems' home base, and we want you to enjoy it as much as we do. Here are some recommendations to enhance your stay once the conference is wrapped!

Food:

  1. Dine at 5Church, in walking distance of the Charlotte Marriott City Center, for sophisticated southern cuisine.

Monthly Management Meeting Agenda Template

Jessica Wishart Wed, Oct 2, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

One of the many things I get to do in my role here at Rhythm Systems is work with our CEO Patrick Thean to coordinate and run our monthly management team meetings. This monthly meeting is a key component for our leadership team’s success; it gets us all aligned, it reinforces and enhances our company culture, it engages and re-focuses our leaders, and it is a great way for us to learn together each month.

Supercharge Your Management Meetings with this Management Meeting Agenda (Updated for 2020)

Ted Skinner Mon, Sep 30, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

In my last blog, I talked about how most meetings suck. Now, I want to focus our energy on ways that we can fix them and have effective meetings. One of the biggest complaints that I hear about bad meetings is the lack of an agenda or getting it two minutes prior to the meeting. While having a meeting without an agenda is horrifying, I have attended several bad meetings that had a detailed agenda sent well ahead of time! The problem was that the agenda didn’t cover all of the areas that the company needed to discuss in order to grow their business. It isn’t just having an agenda; it is about having the right management meeting agenda template focused on solving problems.

4 Simple Steps to Conduct a Problem Solving Meeting

Ted Skinner Fri, Aug 30, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

I hear time and time again from people that their meetings are a complete waste of time. In fact, they can often be a huge productivity killer. When I dig deeper, I can easily find out why. They typically don’t accomplish anything - the team gets together, but they don’t work on solving the problems facing the company. Team members often update the status of their pet projects, highlighting their accomplishments and glossing over the challenges. Many people get the feeling of Groundhog Day as they talk about the same topics time after time and never make any progress on the real, pressing issues facing the company. However, they don’t get the comedic genius of the great Bill Murray to keep them entertained during their problem solving meeting. It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a better way to run weekly meetings to get real work done in their team meeting.  It starts by framing them as a problem solving meeting so that your meeting has a purpose.

5 Tips for an Effective Daily Huddle

Ted Skinner Wed, Aug 14, 2019 @ 01:34 PM

It’s an interesting experiment to informally poll your friends and ask them about their planning habits. Do they plan on a daily basis? Weekly? Digitally? Analog? Cruise through YouTube and see how bullet journaling is the new scrapbooking and you’ll see there’s no end to how you can plan. It’s hard to argue with the logic that planning out your day gives you a better chance of accomplishing what you set out to do. Sure, there are days that go off the rails, but that can happen in any business. Having a plan will help you roll with those unexpected scenarios and keep everything on track to hit your goals.

5 Tips for Running Effective Team Meetings

Ted Skinner Tue, Aug 6, 2019 @ 12:14 PM

Team meetings are a key component of a business. It’s important that the employees know and understand what’s going on with the business and what expectations they need to meet in order for the company to be successful.

How does your team react to the weekly meeting? Is it a task they dread? Do they welcome the break from their desks? Do they get frustrated because every single meeting always seems to be about the concerns of one single person? Do the meeting participants believe it is time well spent? We have found that companies that take control of their meetings get a huge return on their investment with high employee engagement.

Daily Huddle Meeting: The Most Valuable 10 Minutes of Your Day

Chris Cosper Wed, Jul 31, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

So, how’s your Daily Huddle meeting going? Over time, it’s easy for this habit to begin feeling a little stale, and you might even start wondering if anyone would miss it if you killed it. They would! And they probably don’t even realize it (so don’t bother polling the team to ask). Instead, be the leader and huddle on!

Sometimes the benefits of Daily Huddles are so subtle they go uncelebrated, but the truth is, the habit of huddling daily with your team might be the most valuable 10 minutes of your day. The next time you feel like it’s an inconvenient interruption or someone tells you they’re too busy to huddle, keep these benefits of the morning huddle in mind.