Hold more productive, inspiring meetings by stealing a rule from Google’s playbook: “Don’t politic, use data,” says Marissa Mayer, a Google vice president who holds an average of 70 meetings per week.
She believes ideas should move forward because they’re the best, not because the person behind the idea is favored. At meetings, use phrases that emphasize data, rather than internal politics.
Example: Instead of saying, “I like that one,” say, “The customer-response data shows that this one performs 10% better.”
— Adapted from “How to Run a Meeting Like Google,” BusinessWeek.
Squeeze breathing room into your day by scheduling meetings for 50 minutes rather than 60. Running from meeting to meeting will leave you with scores of unanswered e-mails and will probably have you running late by the afternoon. With discipline, it’s possible to wrap up 10 minutes before the hour, leaving you time to catch up on communication and restore sanity to your day.
— Adapted from “The 50-Minute Meeting,” David Silverman, Harvard Business Review.
Improve your team’s performance with this exercise: Gather your team and give everyone a blank 3-by-5 card. Ask them to write the organization’s purpose. Are people aligned on a common purpose? Or did 35 employees come up with 35 different purposes? Once properly aligned, most people will perform better.
— Adapted from “Business Guru Daniel Pink on What Fuels Good Work,” Kristi Oloffson, Time.
Use these seven words more often in 2010: “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” No one has all the answers—even bosses. A person who can speak with candor, then follow through, gains the trust and admiration of others. Executive blogger Terry Starbucker writes on TerryStarbucker.com, “It’s candor with a promise attached—and a promise that gets fulfilled much more easily with right expectations in place.”
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