Resource: The 7P’s of a great meeting

Leaders spend a lot of time in meetings. In fact the more responsibility you have as a leader, the more meetings you will be part of.

Early in my leadership journey I dreaded leading a meeting, sometimes the meetings I led felt awkward, unfocused and often lacked a tangible outcome.

I came across a great tool in a book called Gamestorming that I have shared with pretty much every young leader I have regularly had to plan projects and events with.

Once you learn the 7 P’s and put them into practice regularly in your meetings it will come naturally to you and you will no longer even need to refer to them.

So here they are: 

“Use these items as a checklist. When preparing for a meeting, thinking through the 7Ps can improve focus and results, even if you have only a few moments to reflect on them.

Purpose: Why are you having this meeting? As the leader, you need to be able to state this clearly and succinctly. Consider the urgency of the meeting: what’s going on, If this is difficult to articulate, ask yourself if a meeting is really necessary.

Product: What specific artifact will we produce out of the meeting? What will it do, and how will it support the purpose? If your meetings seem to be “all talk and no follow-through,” consider how a product might change things.

People: Who needs to be there, and what role will they play? One way to focus your list of attendees is to think in terms of questions and answers. What questions arewe answering with this meeting? Who are the right people to answer the questions?

Process: What agenda will these people use to create the product? Of all the 7Ps, the agenda is where you have the most opportunity to collaborate in advance with the attendees. Co-design an agenda with them to ensure that they will show up and stay engaged.

Pitfalls: What are the risks in this meeting, and how will we address them? These could be as simple as ground rules, such as “no laptops,” or specific topics that are designated as out of scope.

Prep: What would be useful to do in advance? This could be material to read in advance, research to conduct, or “homework” to assign to the attendees.

Practical Concerns: These are the logistics of the meeting—the where and when, and importantly, who’s bringing lunch.”

(Extract from Gamestorming.)

So here’s your challenge: Use the 7P’s to shape the next meeting you are leading and see if it makes a difference.

This post was adapted from here. Read more and enjoy other content from the book.

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