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Are you an introvert who dreads attending meetings? You’re not alone. Whether virtual or in-person, meetings are often ineffective and can feel like a waste of time.  Whether you’re leading the meeting or an attendee, listen as we explore ways to make meetings better!

Join David as he talks with Dr. Joe Allen AKA “The Meeting Doctor” about making more effective meetings. Some of the topics we’ll discuss are whether you even need a meeting, and what to do before, during, and after the meeting. We’ll look at some specific strategies for leading teams of introverts and extroverts. We also discuss how to have your voice heard in a meeting as an introvert.

Listen and evaluate your time spent in meetings so you can be more effective and get those things done that you need to. 

– – – 

Joseph A. Allen, Ph.D., is a Professor of Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology at the University of Utah. He directs the Center for Meeting Effectiveness housed in the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. Dr. Allen has consulted for more than 400 non-profit and for-profit organizations. His research has attracted internal and external grant funding of more than $8.5 million since 2010. Dr. Allen’s recent work can be found at www.joeallen.org and he can be reached at joseph.a.allen@utah.edu.

Visit Joe online at:  www.joeallen.org

Get Joe’s Books:

Running Effective Meetings for Dummies
Suddenly Hybrid: Managing the Modern Meeting
Suddenly Virtual: Making Remote Meetings Work

– – –

Contact the host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast: 

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

quietandstrong.com

Gobio.link/quietandstrong

david [at] quietandstrong.com

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Podcast Transcript

00;00;00;00 – 00;00;33;12
Dr. Joe Allen
Just having an agenda automatically improves your meeting. Not by a lot, but it improves it by a little bit. However, if you’re a good leader, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert or whatever, providing an agenda ensures that people of different personality types are going to come to the meeting, at least have the potential to come to a meeting prepared and have a chance to think about things.

00;00;36;24 – 00;01;00;28
David Hall
Hello and welcome to Episode 96 of the Quiet and Strong Podcast. Especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of QuietandStrong.com. It’s a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Its version is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, we’ll air each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform.

00;01;01;16 – 00;01;33;00
David Hall
Leave a review. That would mean a lot to me. Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. Dr. Joseph Allen is a professor of industrial and organizational psychology at the University of Utah. Before he completed his doctorate in organizational science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he received his master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology at UNC, S.C., and his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University.

00;01;33;18 – 00;02;04;17
David Hall
His research focuses on three major areas of inquiry, including the study of workplace meetings, organizational community engagement and occupational safety and health. He has more than 200 publications and academic outlets, another 20 under review and many works in progress for a number of journals. He has published several books, including Suddenly Virtual Making, Remote meetings, work suddenly hybrid managing the Modern Meeting and Running Effective Meetings for Dummies.

00;02;05;23 – 00;02;31;13
David Hall
His presented over 300 papers, regional and national conferences and has given more than 100 invited presentations on his research. Is an editorial board member for the Journal of Business in Psychology Group and Organizational Management and the European Journal of Work in Organizational Psychology. He directs the Center for Meeting Effectiveness, housed in the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational Environmental Health.

00;02;31;27 – 00;02;52;18
David Hall
Dr. Allen has consulted for more than 400 nonprofit and for profit organizations. His research has attracted internal and external grant funding of more than 8.5 million since 2010. All right. Well, welcome to the Quiet and Strong Podcast. I’m very excited for my guest, Joe. Joe, welcome. It’s so great to have you.

00;02;53;10 – 00;02;56;05
Dr. Joe Allen
It’s good to be here. Thanks for inviting me to be to be with you today.

00;02;57;11 – 00;03;13;01
David Hall
Yeah. So we’re going to talk about meetings and how those may impact introverts and how people can be most effective and all that good stuff. Before we do that, let’s just talk a little bit about your journey. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how now you call yourself the meeting doctor.

00;03;14;00 – 00;03;41;10
Dr. Joe Allen
Yes, that’s true. So a little, little bit of background. I, I studied organizational science in North Carolina under Stephen Rosenberg, who is an author of a book called Surprising Science of Meetings, which is based on the work that he and I did together. And that’s that’s where I first started looking at meetings, was with him as a student and quite a while ago, and so that’s where I started looking at it.

00;03;41;10 – 00;04;02;27
Dr. Joe Allen
But my interest in meetings started long before that. I was always curious about my parents and myself going to these gatherings of people and everybody having to interact with each other and answering questions and making decisions. And I was always curious about that wasn’t led. I was curious enough to be thinking about research and at that point it was just something that I was kind of fascinated with as a young person growing up.

00;04;03;07 – 00;04;30;00
Dr. Joe Allen
And then when the opportunity came to study it, it was it was like, oh, this sounds this is something I’d like to kind of play around it. And so then over the years, I’ve studied in meetings in all sorts of different domains and varieties, shapes, sizes and structures and so forth, till, till today. And I’ve in about a couple of years ago, I did a review on, on own meetings in the literature and the scientific literature.

00;04;30;11 – 00;04;34;13
Dr. Joe Allen
And I was surprised to find out that I’d written about 25% of the literature.

00;04;35;01 – 00;04;36;22
David Hall
Oh, wow. Wow. And so, so.

00;04;37;06 – 00;04;55;13
Dr. Joe Allen
And you’re like, well, you know, you’ve been writing a lot. Well, yeah, sort of. It surprised me because there wasn’t a lot out there. And so knowing that, knowing that I’d read, written or reviewed everything that was out there on the topic from a scientific perspective, I started thinking what I think I might have something to say about this.

00;04;55;13 – 00;05;17;16
Dr. Joe Allen
And so I’m kind of the self-proclaimed meeting doctor because I’ve done a little bit of the research, you know, or maybe a lot of the research, and there’s a lot to be said and a lot to learn. And so the books that I’ve released in the last few years, partly as a result of the pandemic, kind of helped to I hopefully establish that that that name as the meaning.

00;05;17;16 – 00;05;17;29
Dr. Joe Allen
Doctor.

00;05;19;00 – 00;05;34;08
David Hall
I’ve read your latest book and you just said you’ve done a lot of writing about this and it’s common for me to send guess questions ahead of time. And so I sent you a lot of questions, but I was just telling you before the show I could have sent you a lot more because there was so much content about meetings.

00;05;34;25 – 00;05;50;09
David Hall
And it just made me think there’s all this content about meetings. Is it something that we’re just not talking about enough? Is it something that a lot of times we’re not doing right that we could give some more thought to and be much more effective? Is that what’s going on?

00;05;51;05 – 00;06;14;25
Dr. Joe Allen
Well, the interesting thing about meetings is that so from a scientific perspective, it wasn’t until 1986 that anybody in the science world was looking at meetings. And what I mean by that is, you know, looking at meetings for the sake of meetings now, we’d we’d sit in small groups, we’d study teams, we started know groups of groups of groups interacting, but we hadn’t really sat down and said, okay, let’s, let’s look at meetings themselves.

00;06;14;25 – 00;06;41;23
Dr. Joe Allen
So in 1986, Helen Schwartzman wrote a book called The Meeting. It was the first scientific study of it. So the interesting thing is that with your question, we hadn’t really studied it from a scientific perspective. We just kind of took it for granted. Humanity has taken for granted that we meet and we meet the way we do. And there’s also this whole issue of kind of a take it for granted assumption that this is how we do it and this is how we’ve always done this, how it’s going to be.

00;06;42;00 – 00;07;03;00
Dr. Joe Allen
The unfortunate thing about it is that more than half of our meetings are actually pretty terrible and people have been generally okay with that. You know, we’re we’re not okay with our our performance indicators. We’re not okay with how many widgets we made this last quarter. We’re not okay with our performance on the job because we have our our supervisors telling us we need to change this or change that.

00;07;03;18 – 00;07;29;15
Dr. Joe Allen
And none of those conversations do we talk about our performance or how we’re doing with meetings. And yet a manager in an organization or spent 75% of their time in meetings. And so it’s just kind of like what’s going on here. And so I think what’s happened is that we got so used to not really focusing on them that we never really realized that this is a quality improvement area that we’re ignoring and they’re really expensive.

00;07;29;26 – 00;07;50;05
Dr. Joe Allen
And so we’re just wasting so much energy and time and effort. And so for me, I get really excited about it because we aren’t holding each other accountable to have a good meeting and we have it forever. So. So there’s a lot to say about it and there’s lots of good tips and tricks that people can apply to make their meetings just a little bit better.

00;07;50;14 – 00;07;55;08
Dr. Joe Allen
And over time, if we just take that continuous improvement approach, we might actually meet with some success.

00;07;56;24 – 00;08;15;03
David Hall
Yeah, absolutely. And I know that I definitely spend a lot of my time in meetings. I know that we can make them better and we’re going to get into that. So I’m excited for our discussion today. And before we do that, though, also, you know, this is a quite and strong podcast, especially for introverts, and you are a fellow introvert.

00;08;15;18 – 00;08;22;28
David Hall
So just just briefly, what would you say is a strength or two of yours as an introvert? And what’s maybe something that you need as an introvert that you’ve discovered.

00;08;24;22 – 00;08;49;10
Dr. Joe Allen
So I think most introverts have a strength when it comes to deep thinking, right? One of the advantages that an introvert has is that when someone asks them a question, really think about it before they before they give an answer. The challenge that, that and so and so and I and I pride myself about that. I try to give a fairly coherent and comprehensive answer when someone asked me a question.

00;08;50;15 – 00;09;11;29
Dr. Joe Allen
So I think that’s that’s one thing that that I think is a strength of mine. But but that very that strength very much provides a challenge to. Right. You’re at a meeting. You have a set amount of time. Someone looks you in the eye and says, Well, Joe, what do you think? Right. And a lot of times that means I have to figure out what I think is right.

00;09;12;04 – 00;09;40;19
Dr. Joe Allen
And I because I want to think about the the different implications of of what things mean. You know, the question of the comments that were just made, that sort of thing, I find that those off the cuff responses are not usually as good as I’d like them to be, and that creates frustration. Sometimes I’m like, I don’t know, but don’t ask me questions because it’s a stressful situation for me to be suddenly asked a question that hadn’t been, you know, that I hadn’t thought of.

00;09;41;04 – 00;10;06;28
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. Or, or prepared for. And so I think that’s I think that’s both a strength but also a challenge. And so I think in meetings, introverts need to think about, okay, how can I leverage that? You know, there’s other strengths and challenges, but how can I leverage that strength to make my contributions more meaningful to a meeting, particularly when that meeting might be really relevant to your your job or to your success in whatever you’re doing?

00;10;08;13 – 00;10;27;22
David Hall
Yeah. So that’s definitely a need that you have is, is to really prepare and learn how to like you said, leverage that strength of deep thinking. And we are going to get more into that today. So so like I said, you’ve written a lot of books on meetings. Your latest is running Effective Meetings for Dummies. What inspired you to write your your books?

00;10;29;05 – 00;10;58;00
Dr. Joe Allen
The two major disruptions in how we meet, like historically speaking, since we crawl out of our case, we met face to face for, like, ever. Yeah. And even though we had the technology, it took a global pandemic for us to widely adopt the technology. And for me, what motivated me to write my books was, was essentially the the, you know, that pandemic.

00;10;58;14 – 00;11;16;07
Dr. Joe Allen
And I’ve written three books since the pandemic started in March of 2020 on the topic of meetings, the first one was suddenly virtual, which is really about how do we make virtual meetings work? Because that was a huge disruption. We went from everybody meeting face to face. Almost 80% of our meetings were face-to-face in corporate America and beyond.

00;11;16;25 – 00;11;44;28
Dr. Joe Allen
And then we went from that to about 5% of our meetings being face to face in a matter of days and 60 to 70% of our meetings were virtual like, like, you know, on Zoom or on teams or whatever, which we’re still kind of in beta version, I guess you could say at that point. Right. And so that moment, you know, so I was I was actually working with my coauthor, Karen Reed, who’s coauthor on on my latest book, Running Effectively for Dummies.

00;11;45;23 – 00;12;17;10
Dr. Joe Allen
She’s a on camera coach, so she’s really good at teaching people how to communicate effectively through a lens. And so we just we connected in the summer of 2020 and said, hey, have you ever thought about writing a book? And she’s like, Huh? And so that’s where suddenly virtual came from. And then as the pandemic started to wane a bit, we’re like, Well, now we’re going to have some people who are going to be at home because people are people still are holding on to this remote work option because it’s so much more flexible for people who have more than just work to do in their lives.

00;12;17;29 – 00;12;38;13
Dr. Joe Allen
So which is most people. And so we wrote the book Suddenly Hybrid, right? And then what I notice is, along with my answer, I apologize. But but then I realize when I got to got that one kind of headed out the door, I was like, Wait a minute, don’t we need a like a guide to all the meetings that we have?

00;12;38;16 – 00;12;59;27
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. And so running effective meetings for Dummies was to say, hey, I’ve talked about virtual, I’ve talked about hybrid, but we’re also going to continue to meet face to face. And so running effective means is really kind of the definitive guide to how people should meet, whether they they’re meeting face to face, virtual or hybrid. Just how do we how do we meet effectively in general?

00;13;00;20 – 00;13;25;14
Dr. Joe Allen
And it’s it’s targeted to mostly, you know, small group meetings, which is the most common form. About 70 to 80% of our meetings are these small group meetings, whether it be one on one to to, you know, 5 to 7 people. But regardless, that’s that’s what kind of got me motivated was this abrupt, huge shift in how people meet.

00;13;27;00 – 00;13;32;09
David Hall
Yeah, definitely. And I think all three forms are now here with us to stay.

00;13;32;09 – 00;13;33;23
Dr. Joe Allen
I think so too. Yeah.

00;13;33;27 – 00;13;43;23
David Hall
So when the pandemic first started and people started just meeting virtually and not as a team like they were used to, how important was the social aspect of it all just at that time?

00;13;44;15 – 00;14;04;21
Dr. Joe Allen
So with that, there was a kind of an issue here in terms of social, because we used to just, you know, when you when you met face to face, you gather to a location, right? And when you gathered, you kind of if it was particular like Monday morning, hey, Bob, how was how was the weekend? How that soccer match for your son go or whatever your daughter go, where are you?

00;14;04;29 – 00;14;29;22
Dr. Joe Allen
So we have these casual, informal conversations as we gather to our stand-up meeting on a Monday morning or whatever, right. With Zoom and things like that. As you as you alluded to, we click a button and there everybody is. And so we got away from having those social conversations. And so I was concerned when when when that started happening, I was like, okay, wait a minute.

00;14;29;22 – 00;14;55;09
Dr. Joe Allen
We know from the research previous to the pandemic on face-to-face meetings that pre-meeting talk as well, like what we called it, is really important for meeting effectiveness. And there’s different types of premium talk, there’s work talk, there’s meeting prep or do I talk like who’s got the top of the agenda? Things like that. The most important one of those was small talk, that social interaction content, right?

00;14;55;19 – 00;15;19;29
Dr. Joe Allen
And it was actually particularly important for introverts that introverts actually needed more of that small talk than extroverts or other, you know, other personality types. And so that was that was true then. And so one of the things I did early on in the pandemic was like verify that that was still the case. And the reality is I started advising people, hey, start your meetings with the question, hey, how is everybody?

00;15;20;09 – 00;15;48;26
Dr. Joe Allen
And wait, wait for people to respond? Because that social lubrication, as it were, helps to put people at ease, kind of brings people into a shared space, even if it’s a virtual space, and allows them to reconnect with people in a meaningful way. And so I think social interaction you can artificially create no, don’t don’t ask that question and then let people go off for 20 minutes in your 30 minutes.

00;15;50;10 – 00;15;59;18
Dr. Joe Allen
But, you know, three or four or 5 minutes, something like that. That’s exactly what people need to be able to feel comfortable with their team when they work, when they’re meeting in a virtual environment.

00;16;00;09 – 00;16;15;02
David Hall
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, sometimes you might have that conversation as you’re walking to and from the meeting and that was gone. You know, that the time before and after was really kind of gone. It’s like, all right, we’re done now, so let’s shut off the button.

00;16;15;02 – 00;16;49;08
Dr. Joe Allen
And yeah, yeah. And, and so you kind of have to instead of, of those things being serendipitous the bump and to bob moments don’t happen like they used to. Right. And so instead of being able to just let that happen because you’re co-located, you have to be more intentional. You have to say, I’m going to I’m going to make sure that we have some before meeting interaction that’s not so serious and some end up meeting time for follow up questions that one or one or two people might have.

00;16;49;15 – 00;17;05;05
Dr. Joe Allen
And so that’s an adaptation that we have to employ in our virtual and hybrid meetings that you don’t really need to or haven’t had to deliberately facilitate in a face-to-face meeting environment.

00;17;06;02 – 00;17;32;04
David Hall
I was involved in hybrid meetings, you know, long before the pandemic, but it was more like the exception, like, you know, this person was away or maybe they were located somewhere else. I think that in general we probably didn’t do a very good job of including them, you know, things like, you know, maybe I was the meeting leader to have to remind people, you know, I can hear you, but if you don’t talk into that microphone, the person on the other end cannot hear you, you know, so things like that.

00;17;32;19 – 00;17;53;25
David Hall
So like I said, I think I know hybrid meetings are with us this day. Definitely. You know, I know that I’m seeing things move back into the in-person environment. Yeah. You know, how important is it to be able to include everybody? And I’m assuming most companies are kind of upgrading their technology to make sure everybody is included.

00;17;53;25 – 00;17;55;19
David Hall
However, they’re attending.

00;17;55;19 – 00;18;22;12
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, from the data published in Suddenly Hybrid, we know that the most important thing for making a hybrid meeting effective is making sure that everybody is seen and heard. Right. And there’s three things you need to make that possible. You need to have the hardware right? So organizations are going to need to upgrade their meeting rooms and they need to upgrade each individual’s meeting connection.

00;18;22;24 – 00;18;38;17
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. Some of that’s on the individual to make sure they have a good enough Internet connection. But some of that’s not so well that like having a good camera, you know, that that’s really on the organization to make sure the person has the right tools to be able to do that. So hardware, second thing they need is software.

00;18;38;25 – 00;19;00;24
Dr. Joe Allen
You need to have a means by which you will connect and having some consistency in that for your teams. Right. That’s why a lot of organizations have a I zoom, for example, license or they have a microsoft teams license or something to that effect our Google, you know, groups license or whatever, but something that that kind of push it to people towards the same software system.

00;19;01;00 – 00;19;16;24
Dr. Joe Allen
So that way they all get comfortable with that and know all the little buttons and where they are. So that way they can share the screen and they can use whiteboards and all those wonderful things. That’s great. But then the third thing is this something that organization fans just forget to do, and they do this on a lot of things.

00;19;16;24 – 00;19;37;13
Dr. Joe Allen
So this is and so meetings are special, but you got to have the skill where meaning you have to teach people how to do this right. You can’t just assume that people are going to realize, Oh, I really should start my meeting with some small talk. Oh, I really shouldn’t lead the can’t believe the meeting room open in the virtual environment until everybody that’s in the room leaves the room from a hybrid meeting.

00;19;37;22 – 00;19;56;03
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. So that way no one is left out of any after-the-meeting conversations, right. And I also need to make sure that oh yeah, I can’t, I need to not forget the people online. In fact, maybe I should have them talk first. Right? These are all tips. I guess you could call them, but they’re not intuitive. Right.

00;19;56;15 – 00;20;14;10
Dr. Joe Allen
And so if we make the assumption that anyone is going to figure it out, well, they might be more than likely they’re going to go. They’re going to continue to meet kind of mediocre or even worse. Right. Like I said, more than half of our meetings are poor. Right. So are we okay with poor? Are we okay with kind of a miserable meeting experience?

00;20;14;10 – 00;20;17;00
Dr. Joe Allen
And if the answer is yes, then you’re going to know everything I just said.

00;20;17;25 – 00;20;33;10
David Hall
Right. And I think for most people, of course, that would be a big no. So it’s not intuitive. And I still think we’re figuring it out, you know? Yeah, two and a half years later, I think we’re figuring it out. I know in your book you talk about the importance of being on camera. Why should we be on camera?

00;20;33;10 – 00;20;38;00
David Hall
I know there’s plenty of meetings I’m in where people are not on camera. What’s the importance there?

00;20;38;27 – 00;21;03;06
Dr. Joe Allen
So in suddenly virtual, I took a very hard line on. I said, Camera on or you’re an idiot, essentially. And I have soften that both in terms of my suddenly hybrid book and in the running effect of Meetings for Dummies book and what I mean by soften it. I still think that for the vast majority of our meetings, camera probably needs to be on.

00;21;03;06 – 00;21;23;24
Dr. Joe Allen
If you’re if you’re a virtual participant in a hybrid meeting, your camera needs to be on. If you are in a virtual meeting, your camera should probably be on. But I soften that little bit because for a person that you know really well, for example, if you’re calling your mom, your dad, your kid’s your best friend, you know, if you’re you probably don’t need to turn the camera on for them.

00;21;24;11 – 00;21;43;13
Dr. Joe Allen
And that’s because you have a of a very high level of familiarity with them. You know what mom sounds like when she’s being sarcastic? You know what your best friend looks like when they’re when they’re, you know, angry, you know, or they’re under when they’re unhappy, you can hear that in their voice. You actually don’t need to see them to be able to communicate and understand everything that they’re saying.

00;21;43;13 – 00;22;12;17
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. But that’s not the way it works in organizations. We onboard new people. People move, we meet with new clients. We meet with interdisciplinary teams across the organization. Right. And so when we’re when we’re meeting with people that we don’t have the kind of relationship that we know them really, really, really well, we need to see them. So that way we can see when they roll their eyes, we need to see them so we can know when they’re shrugging, when they’re ill or when they’re being sarcastic, that sort of thing.

00;22;12;22 – 00;22;35;22
Dr. Joe Allen
If you can’t see them, you might conclude that the boss just said that they are, that the project you’re working on is completely garbage. When the boss really meant that it’s really an important project, but because you only interact with this person a couple of times and this is the first sarcastic statement ever made, you’re lost. And so it’s one of those things where you’ve got to know who are you meeting with and how rich of a medium of communication does it need to be?

00;22;35;27 – 00;23;02;17
Dr. Joe Allen
So that’s that’s one rule about camera. The other rule that I recommend in terms of camera in that decision of on or off is how complex and how emotionally charged is the meeting going to be, right? So for really complex issues, more information is going to make it easier to to understand what’s going on. So it’s a really complicated project where you’re going to have to kind of explain more details on camera.

00;23;02;27 – 00;23;23;24
Dr. Joe Allen
If it’s an emotionally charged situation, like you’re firing someone, don’t send an email with a meme that says you’re fired. Oh, you know, meet with the meet with people, right. Emotionally. Or if you’re if you’re a performance review, a performance review should not be in audio only it should be a it should be it should be video or in person.

00;23;24;02 – 00;23;37;04
Dr. Joe Allen
So the question of video on is really a question of going back to why are you meeting who are you meeting lists and structuring your meeting to accomplish the goal for which you are meeting.

00;23;37;04 – 00;23;50;03
David Hall
A couple more things on that you have written about is you could be doing yourself a disservice because you could be not showing your body language that could be very effective in helping people understand what you’re saying.

00;23;50;21 – 00;24;23;16
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the your body language is really important. I mean, there was some some old statistic, old findings, old suggestions that now 80% of your communication is your body language. No, not really. But a good some of it is. Right. And so it’s you know, if you want people to understand what you’re saying, then you want to have as mode, as much communication, you know, mechanisms as possible coming from you.

00;24;23;16 – 00;24;45;08
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. And so Karen, my coauthor, she would often talk about, you know, what is what what sort of presentation do you want to present? You know, who do you want them to see? Right? Or do you want them to see a blank, you know, black box. Right, and just hear you? Or do you want them to see what kind of message do you want to send?

00;24;45;08 – 00;25;08;14
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. And in some of the conversations with people as they’re doing this whole transition between remote, in-person and hybrid and so forth, they’ve really found that if you’re out of sight, out of mind, you go to that black little black box, you’re no longer priority. And that’s okay. If everybody’s on a virtual meeting and it was a black box, that’s that’s, you know, okay, fine.

00;25;08;26 – 00;25;29;21
Dr. Joe Allen
But if you’re if you’re in a hybrid situation and you’re a black box, I’ve been in too many meetings before, during. And now, as we as we transition out of the pandemic, where that person, that little black box is completely forgotten about. Right. But if you’re if you’re there and you’re waving or and communicate, it’s much harder to her to be ignored.

00;25;30;10 – 00;25;40;07
David Hall
Yeah. And then another thing you wrote about, if you’re off camera and this could be good or bad for the meeting, is there’s a tendency and a temptation to multitask.

00;25;40;22 – 00;25;45;26
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’ve sent five emails since we started talking. Yeah, I just.

00;25;46;24 – 00;25;59;04
David Hall
Yeah, I kept our cameras around. Even though this is audio podcast, I could see you so. But you also wrote something in the book I agree with there really isn’t multitasking, you know, because we can only really do one thing at a time.

00;25;59;14 – 00;26;17;04
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah. That’s that’s basic psychology research on attention. I mean, I thought it years ago in Psych 101, you know, people, people can’t really attend to more than one thing at a time. You can either you can it’s really just tasking through the tasking on this or you’re tasking on that. You’re not doing both.

00;26;18;05 – 00;26;30;07
David Hall
Yeah, you’re switching back and forth and yeah, you know, maybe I am super busy and this meeting it mostly applies to me. But you know, if I’m going to shoot off this email, I’m not fully engaged in the meeting.

00;26;31;09 – 00;27;01;17
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That’s that a problem. Right. I mean, there’s a so when I think about that issue of multitasking, I part of me wants to immediately blame that person, how dare they for not paying attention and being engaged in the meeting. But I have to remind myself and I and I talk about it a little bit in my book that we got to curate our invite list, right?

00;27;02;16 – 00;27;27;27
Dr. Joe Allen
We sometimes fall into this default that I want to include everybody. Right? And maybe that’s this idea of inclusion and we don’t want anyone to feel left out, that sort of thing. But I’ve not there are many people who are truly upset when they don’t have to go to another meeting. Right. And what was more bothersome is when you go to a meeting and you it’s not relevant to you, your input really isn’t needed or valued.

00;27;28;09 – 00;27;49;02
Dr. Joe Allen
And now you’re having to kind of figure out, how can I be present and accounted for but get some other work done? Because this is really irrelevant to me. Right? And so I think we we we tend to blame the person who’s multitasking or not just tasking, you know, who’s who’s really not attending the meeting but is invited.

00;27;49;05 – 00;28;04;02
Dr. Joe Allen
We tend to blame them for not paying attention when the reality is do they need to be there? And if they don’t really need to be there, it’s really the fault of the organizer for not curating their list and saying, okay, I made these for people. Well, this person is sort of related to it. I’m going to bite them.

00;28;04;02 – 00;28;23;12
Dr. Joe Allen
And this person over here might want to know what happens in this meeting. So I’ll invite them, know, take good notes or have someone take minutes of that and the decisions send that out. So the the inclusive part needs to be informing people about what happened in the meeting, not necessarily having everybody in the meeting itself.

00;28;24;18 – 00;28;33;21
David Hall
Absolutely. And that kind of leads into another just important part of this. How do you decide, should you even have a meeting in the first place?

00;28;33;21 – 00;28;57;14
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah. So I usually suggest asking yourself two questions. So if you’re if you’re getting ready to organize a meeting, there are two questions you need to ask yourself. Right? First off, does my meeting have a purpose? Right. I mean, it sounds like a basic question, but I’ve been to many a meeting. I’ve been like the organizer, like so we call this meeting day.

00;28;57;15 – 00;29;17;20
Dr. Joe Allen
So what, what did we need to accomplish today? And you’re like, What do you mean what we need to accomplish? You call the meeting, right? So I’ve been in too many meetings like that. So first off, does the meeting have a purpose, right? The answer answer’s yes. Ask the second question. Does that purpose require collaboration? Right. Actual conversation and dialog between people.

00;29;18;04 – 00;29;38;10
Dr. Joe Allen
Right? And we answer yes to that. Proceed to schedule your meeting curated by list, get your agenda together. Do all those wonderful things that nobody does. But first, if you ask those two questions, you’ll find that there’s a good number of meetings that are on your calendar that you probably don’t need to have. Right. And hopefully if you ask those two questions, you say no to either one.

00;29;38;10 – 00;30;04;14
Dr. Joe Allen
You stop and don’t schedule a meeting because maybe what you really need to do is just inform, right, and informing people of things. There’s easier ways to do that. You can send an email, which I know people like. I don’t anymore. Email. Okay, fine. Get a Slack channel and then send us in a Slack message. Get the record, an audio file or a video file and get that you send that through the through the ear, businesses, intranet or whatever.

00;30;04;22 – 00;30;23;17
Dr. Joe Allen
But send them put a memo, put it on paper and mail it whatever it is there are other, more efficient, effective ways to to get information to people, then then bring everyone into a room or bring everyone together, virtually or otherwise. And spewing information at them when no collaboration is needed.

00;30;24;07 – 00;30;42;05
David Hall
Yeah, I’m interested in that last thing you said. Are you are you seeing a lot more people send like video messages instead of meetings? Because I know emails can definitely be misunderstood. And so sometimes you’re sharing a message in a meeting so that it comes across as you want it to and people can ask questions. Are you seeing a lot more of that video kind of response?

00;30;43;29 – 00;31;12;11
Dr. Joe Allen
More than I did before the pandemic, but not still, not as much as I would think we could. I mean, people are recording 30-second, and 60-second TikTok’s at a maddening pace. Right. Why can’t we record a 30-second response or quick share and send it to people, post it to people or something like that, create a group on YouTube or on Tik Tok or a channel or something and, and do it that way.

00;31;12;16 – 00;31;40;15
Dr. Joe Allen
I think there’s ways that people can innovate and do that further. I know there are a couple of companies out there that started doing more audio recordings, that sort of thing, basically taking the voicemail messaging, spam process that we we’ve used in the past and creating an app for it. Right. So I think it’s happening more than it used to, but I don’t think it happens enough because I think too often we just default to the oh, let’s have a meeting.

00;31;41;08 – 00;31;50;06
David Hall
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean it’s gotten so much, it’s gotten so easy to make videos or audio files, I think that you’ll probably see a lot more of that.

00;31;51;02 – 00;32;04;04
Dr. Joe Allen
I hope so, but I hope we see more of that at the same time as we see less meetings. Yeah, I don’t want to see more of that and continue to have meetings at the rate we’re currently having because we just can’t keep this up forever.

00;32;04;04 – 00;32;27;21
David Hall
Yeah. And I’m sorry, I’m talking about as a substitute and having less meetings. Absolutely. So let’s just talk about that a little bit. So, you know, definitely with introverts, meetings can be a problem where they where their voice isn’t heard. I know you just mentioned, you know, putting together an agenda. How important is that for for both the leader of the meeting and also the introvert to have the agenda?

00;32;28;11 – 00;33;05;22
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah. So, you know, this is this is really key for for introverts, but also for meeting success, right. So just having an agenda are automatically improves your meeting not by a lot, but it improves it by a little bit, right. However, if you’re a good leader, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert or whatever, providing an agenda ensures that people of different personality types are going to come to the meeting, at least have the potential to have the meeting prepared and have a chance to think about things for the extroverts.

00;33;05;22 – 00;33;33;22
Dr. Joe Allen
They’ll be either won’t look at it or won’t care to look at it and may even be annoyed by it because they feel like they can just off the cuff talk whatever they want. Right. And that’s fine. That’s that’s a skill that they have in it. And introverts going to be thrilled that they receive that because now they can look and see what the topics are, think about, see how it’s relevant or irrelevant to them, and maybe even think about, okay, if I get if they actually ask for my opinion, I have one and then then think about what that is.

00;33;33;22 – 00;33;49;19
Dr. Joe Allen
So that way when they get asked or they when or when they want to offer their opinion, they can actually share it in a, in a good and meaningful way, the way that they would like to. Right. But if you have no agenda and you just throw it out in front and you throw out the purpose in front of everybody, and it was like, Oh, let’s kick this around for a while.

00;33;50;05 – 00;34;07;13
Dr. Joe Allen
That’s great for maybe part of the team, right? Or maybe you have a fully extroverted team and you have no introverts, so everyone’s going to kind of yell at each other for half an hour. But assuming you have some diversity and personality, that’s going to be really important. And as a as a so there’s two sides of that.

00;34;07;13 – 00;34;29;14
Dr. Joe Allen
One, your leader is going to actually get better information from the whole team by doing that. And as an attendee, if you’re an introvert, you now have the chance to actually engage in the meeting and get your ideas out there because you’ve had a chance to take it even just a minute or two and think about how you might answer a question about.

00;34;29;25 – 00;34;39;16
David Hall
So, yeah, absolutely. So you have the agenda. What are some things they may maybe that you’ve done or you’ve seen other people do as introverts to really prepare and have your voice heard in the meeting.

00;34;40;20 – 00;35;04;29
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah so I on introvert you which is so is how kind of how we got connected David I have a, you know, a little course there that talks about, you know, the habits that introverts can engage in when it comes to meetings that ensures that they’ll they’ll have effective meeting experiences. And we were started to we were starting to allude to that with the whole agenda thing.

00;35;05;12 – 00;35;30;23
Dr. Joe Allen
But essentially what an introvert needs to do is find out what the purpose of the meeting is ahead of time, right? Either through the themselves establishing the purpose, if they’re the organizer or finding out from the organizer, what’s the purpose? I know. I know. I know some of my colleagues whenever I get an invite to a meeting and I don’t and doesn’t have an agenda and there’s no clear purpose that I can see, I am able to say, hey, why are we meeting?

00;35;32;13 – 00;35;50;19
Dr. Joe Allen
You know, and that’s for me. I can get away with it because they’re like, Oh yeah, the meeting doctor is going to want me to define the representative. And so they don’t, they don’t necessarily associate that with my personality. But the truth is, it’s my personality because I want to know, because a good introvert is going well if they get that information ahead of time.

00;35;50;19 – 00;36;16;08
Dr. Joe Allen
So here’s here’s the kicker for introverts, if they can get the information about what the purpose of the meeting is ahead of time, that gives them the time to write down a few notes on the various topics. Now, granted, the meeting could go off the rails. In fact, too many meetings do, and that goes off the rails. And then on a topic way over here, as an introvert, you know, you may be able to think and figure out something you can inject in there.

00;36;16;13 – 00;36;34;08
Dr. Joe Allen
But the reality is, if it’s if you know the purpose and they stick to the agenda, if you get it ahead of time, you can do a few notes. I’ve even you know, I even a student a few years ago who was so introverted, like not not a little bit introvert, but so introverted, and he hadn’t yet developed any of these skills.

00;36;34;17 – 00;36;56;27
Dr. Joe Allen
And I taught him this and he would he would literally write down his his his answers, his responses. And that’s fine to write, because that gives you the chance to really lean in to your analytical skills, your thought processes, your ideas. And so you get that down on paper, right, if you need to, or at least some, you know, so a few notes and then you go into the meeting ready.

00;36;56;27 – 00;37;23;07
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. And when the topic comes up, don’t my, my advice to introverts is don’t wait until the extroverts kick it around, till they stumble onto your idea. Because that happens sometimes too. Because then some extrovert who just happened to stumble into the room with the idea, right. If it’s extroverts. But but when they finally the idea, they’ll get the credit for the idea that you came up with through thinking about it a little bit beforehand.

00;37;23;12 – 00;37;51;28
Dr. Joe Allen
So my advice to interns is don’t wait for everyone else to share something when the agenda item comes up that you have something to say. I hate to say it, but put yourself out there. Right. And that’s that’s the hardest step for me in my recommendations when it comes to, you know, being an effective introvert in a meeting is that you’ve got to overcome that natural tendency to kind of sit back and think.

00;37;52;12 – 00;37;56;07
Dr. Joe Allen
And you’ve done the thinking already, put yourself out there.

00;37;57;21 – 00;38;18;05
David Hall
Yeah, that is such great advice because we do need to put ourselves out there. We have a lot of valuable things to say. Oh yeah, I always say introverts, you know, communist understanding is that people say, we don’t have a lot to say, but it’s like, no, we actually have a lot to say because we’re always thinking so we have a lot to say, but if you have the agenda ahead of time, you could do that thinking ahead of time.

00;38;18;18 – 00;38;45;20
David Hall
And it’s funny because like I say, if it’s something if it’s new material, I am going to need to think about it. If it’s actually a topic like introversion, I could actually just talk about it for hours. So it’s just kind of funny. I could talk about introversion with hours without without any preparation. Yeah. So I do something similar, you know, I look at the agenda, figure out is there anything I need to research, anything I need to learn, are there questions I want to make sure I ask?

00;38;45;27 – 00;38;55;08
David Hall
So like you said, I make myself notes. Definitely. If I’m scheduling a meeting with the meeting doctor, I’m probably going to send an agenda right.

00;38;55;08 – 00;39;21;15
Dr. Joe Allen
That’s that’s what it is. But not everybody knows. But they find out pretty quick when when that sort of thing. And when you said, you know, interests have a lot to say, I thought to myself, yeah, I’ve been talking a lot. Having a reality is I know this topic, like you said, with introvert introverts and introversion and that topic there, when you know what, you know that you don’t have a hard time putting coherent sentences together and talking about it.

00;39;21;15 – 00;39;48;20
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. And so it is a complete misnomer that that introverts don’t want to talk or don’t have anything to say. It’s that they just they’re a little more little more analytical, a little more reserved in how they might approach what they want to say. Right. And so I was actually talking to someone earlier today about how most people assume or most of all who interact with me don’t realize I’m an introvert or don’t think that I’m or say I say or say, oh, yeah, I’m an introvert.

00;39;48;27 – 00;40;13;19
Dr. Joe Allen
That’s really not like, oh, no, you’re not. You’re always outgoing. You’re always talking to, Oh, that’s because I prepared, right? That’s because I do that. And when I’m done talking to people, you know, unlike an extrovert, an extrovert who gets their energy from that interaction, I’m wiped out. Right? I can bounce around the room for for a couple of hours and look and basically look like an extrovert and build that network with people.

00;40;14;14 – 00;40;34;22
Dr. Joe Allen
But it’s not where I derive my energy. Right. And so I think that’s also something that people really don’t realize, that introverts can do the same behaviors that extroverts can do. Right. That’s not like that’s we can’t it’s that it’s not what we would choose to do. Right, and not where we derive our energy.

00;40;35;03 – 00;40;51;24
David Hall
Yeah. Or it’s a matter of we go about it differently, you know. Yeah. Like half the population are introverts and people find that surprising because like you just said, they might judge you to be an extrovert, you know, not knowing because you can’t see what’s going on in someone. You can’t see their preferences in that kind of thing.

00;40;52;05 – 00;41;13;15
David Hall
We’re deep thinkers and a lot of strengths and needs come from that. But we do need to build connections. We want to build connections. We do have a lot to say. It’s just we’re going to go about things differently, you know, like leadership or public speaking. I love that. I love public speaking, but I’m going to approach it so much differently preparing than my actual colleague would.

00;41;14;10 – 00;41;16;00
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah, absolutely.

00;41;16;28 – 00;41;33;27
David Hall
So in the meeting you actually wrote in your book to something that I thought was really interesting, you talked about how you might actually need to allow some time for thinking. And if you have a mixed group like I think probably most meetings are introverts and extroverts, we need both on our teams. How do you allow that time for thinking within the meeting?

00;41;33;27 – 00;41;35;10
David Hall
That could be a challenge for sure.

00;41;35;25 – 00;41;53;16
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah. So again, this goes back to the whole thing about you know, organizations take for granted that the people know how to run meetings and this is, you know, introducing silence into meetings is something that people like, oh, wait, what? You can do that. Yeah, you don’t have to fill the air entirely with people blabbering about stuff, right?

00;41;53;28 – 00;42;19;02
Dr. Joe Allen
I think it was Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who who who introduced this novel idea of some silence before the meeting begins, where everybody reads the reads the agenda or the or the one pager to get everybody oriented on this. That’s I know it’s attributed to Mr. Bezos, but it’s not new. Those of us who studied meetings know that a good facilitator.

00;42;19;13 – 00;42;39;25
Dr. Joe Allen
Will you silence to their advantage. Right. And to the advantage of the meeting. Right. So there’s nothing wrong with starting the meeting off with saying, okay, I don’t know if everyone’s had a chance to do the pre read. So we’re going to take 5 minutes and everybody’s going to take a read. This paper that’s in front of you or the document that I just sent through the through the chat or whatever, but giving everybody a few minutes to orient themselves.

00;42;40;04 – 00;42;57;18
Dr. Joe Allen
It’s also okay during the meeting to say, you know, I really want your thoughts on this. Here’s my question. But but don’t just jump at the answer. I want I want everybody to take a minute and I’ll even put a timer on the client. There’s all these fancy things you can do with it, with the virtual meetings, but you can set a timer on there and a countdown, 60 seconds or whatever, but you can use it.

00;42;57;23 – 00;43;20;07
Dr. Joe Allen
You give everybody a minute to just think about the question you just asked right now for. That’s everybody, right? It’ll benefit the introverts because they’ll actually have a chance to think about the question that they didn’t have a chance to think about beforehand. And the extroverts will actually get a chance to think about it and and build a more coherent response for themselves as well.

00;43;20;07 – 00;43;36;15
Dr. Joe Allen
So everybody actually benefits from and using that as a tool in a meeting, particularly when you when you want people to do a little more deep thinking and a more working type meeting as opposed to a, you know, kind of information sharing or spewing of things around comedy.

00;43;36;19 – 00;43;44;11
David Hall
So yeah, that’s a brilliant strategy. I, I don’t think I’ve seen it used very much and, but yet I can see where it’s needed.

00;43;44;11 – 00;44;06;17
Dr. Joe Allen
Yep. Yeah. It’s one that I don’t know if I talk about much in the book, but it’s one that that has been, you know, on my mind a lot lately because of having just created that course, because the book, the book was written before I really dug into the whole introverts know edge to meetings as it were and thought about that a little bit more.

00;44;06;17 – 00;44;20;15
Dr. Joe Allen
And some of the key things like behaviors that a leader or an attendee could do to make the meeting more effective for that other half of the of the human family that may or may not find meetings as enjoyable as the extroverts.

00;44;21;16 – 00;44;25;26
David Hall
Yeah, for sure. How long should meetings be? How do you determine that?

00;44;27;04 – 00;44;32;22
Dr. Joe Allen
You determine that by the size and scope of the purpose for which you called the meeting right.

00;44;32;22 – 00;44;34;13
David Hall
Like that’s something that goes learn how you do it.

00;44;35;00 – 00;45;08;11
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah, there’s some there’s some tricks to that. Right. Because the reality is it’s it varies by the group you have some people who don’t talk more. Right. It also varies by how many things you can get through in a period of time. And so it’s it’s hard to say here’s here’s how long it has to be, should be, or here’s how many items you can get done in and 30 minutes versus an hour, because it depends on the item, if it’s how much discussion needs to happen for that person, how passionately people feel about the thing you want to talk about.

00;45;08;12 – 00;45;26;13
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. And so you as a as a leader have to right size your meeting, as it were, to the length that you think it’s going to take. And you’ll get better at it over time, as you call more meetings and as you curate your your agenda and that sort of thing and as you get to know your people.

00;45;26;20 – 00;45;43;21
Dr. Joe Allen
Right? And once you do that, you’ll start to be able to kind of figure out how much you get accomplished. Because I know when I first started, you know, being in a role where I wouldn’t schedule meetings, I was terrible at this. I was terrible at knowing how how long, how much I could do in a meeting. Right.

00;45;44;10 – 00;46;06;03
Dr. Joe Allen
But I got better at right. And I reflected back on what were the things that made it made me get better at it. And it was it wasn’t that I changed how I put the agenda together, per se. It was that I got better at understanding how people react to certain things. I got to know the people well enough to know who’s going to talk a lot, right?

00;46;06;13 – 00;46;27;19
Dr. Joe Allen
And what they’re going to talk about. I learned about, you know, what my average is for how many things I could get done in a given meeting. And so the reality is it’s kind of it’s kind of person to person and group-specific as to how much you can accomplish. But my advice would be, you know, if you get done early, great, stop.

00;46;27;28 – 00;46;51;11
Dr. Joe Allen
Let everybody go. Right. If you’re running late, that’s that’s good to know as well. Right. And so you don’t want to run it. You stop when the meeting is supposed to and regardless. Right. But then that gives you information to know for next time that, okay, we didn’t get through all this. I need to have probably have a list of things or I need to make sure this particular item gets more time next time or whatever.

00;46;51;15 – 00;47;00;04
David Hall
So yeah, so as a leader or as a participant, you know, you’ve had the meeting. Now what’s so important to do after.

00;47;01;20 – 00;47;22;09
Dr. Joe Allen
The one thing that I think is probably the most neglected thing when it comes to the meeting continuum. So the main continuum in my mind is what should you do before? What do you do during and when you do after a meeting and you’ve asked about after after is almost always neglected after the meeting you should if this were taken, they should be shared.

00;47;22;28 – 00;47;45;24
Dr. Joe Allen
And but the most important thing, which I think is rarely done is action items need to be recorded and followed up on it’s a pet peeve of mine but it’s annoyed me for longer than I’ve ever been. I’ve started meetings that I go to a meeting. We talk about things, people get assignments, that sort of thing. And the next week I go to the meet that meeting with that group of people again and I was like, Oh, so yeah.

00;47;45;24 – 00;48;02;13
Dr. Joe Allen
So what did we decide last week? Oh, you were going to do this? You were going to do this? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So did you do that, though? Did you do that now? Did you look. Yes, to do that? No. I mean, so you go around and you recreate the action items in the first 10 minutes of your meeting that you could have been rather than that.

00;48;02;13 – 00;48;25;18
Dr. Joe Allen
Just a quick report out on the action or the action that could have been accomplished long before that and an email or a communication was in, hey, I’m done with that. Here’s the report you asked for. I’m done with that. Here’s the whatever. And so the number one thing that people forget to do when it comes to wrapping up a meeting is action items, making sure there’s a name associated with each one and holding people accountable.

00;48;25;18 – 00;48;33;00
Dr. Joe Allen
Just saying, okay, did you do it? Or following up either between or at the next meeting in a meaningful way?

00;48;33;00 – 00;48;36;14
David Hall
Yeah. And probably before is probably better on the follow up, right? Yeah.

00;48;36;29 – 00;48;37;21
Dr. Joe Allen
Absolutely.

00;48;38;07 – 00;48;41;15
David Hall
And then as the participant, what’s important to do after.

00;48;43;01 – 00;49;05;23
Dr. Joe Allen
Do your action items? Don’t be that don’t be that person who shows them says oh yeah I remember you gave me that assignment didn’t quite get or then get to it or oh, I’m still working on that. We all know it completely forgot about it. So I think after the meeting there’s that other thing that that a person, you know, a good attendee should do after the meeting is provide feedback to the meeting leader.

00;49;05;29 – 00;49;32;18
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. Let them know how things went for you and for the group as you saw it. Now you’ll know best whether or not your your the meeting leader will respond well to that. But if you have a good, psychologically safe environment where you feel like you can share your ideas and opinions, it’s going to be meaningfully received, then give some feedback and hopefully they’ll give you feedback as well, either as an attendee or as a meeting leader in the next meeting.

00;49;32;18 – 00;49;47;00
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. And if you create a a pattern of that between you and your and your your boss and so on, you’re meeting leaders or so forth. Over time, you’re kind of helping that continuous improvement process happen for everyone.

00;49;47;24 – 00;50;00;15
David Hall
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, Joe, we’ve talked about so many things and I have so many more questions I could ask you. But I mean, is there anything that we didn’t hit on yet that you want to talk about?

00;50;00;15 – 00;50;27;04
Dr. Joe Allen
Oh, yeah. So there’s the one thing I do want to emphasize is that there isn’t a silver bullet that the it’s it’s kind of the most fun, more fascinating things about meetings and meeting leaders and meeting attendees is that there’s a 100 best practices, maybe more that people should be considering, right? Probably most people are doing about half of them already.

00;50;27;24 – 00;50;31;00
Dr. Joe Allen
Right. And so that’s cool. That’s good. Although that being f.

00;50;31;23 – 00;50;32;14
David Hall
Yeah, yeah.

00;50;32;16 – 00;50;53;26
Dr. Joe Allen
Right, right, right. But the reality is most people. But the pattern though is different. Like what I struggle with with when I lead meetings is probably what you struggle with. David Right. And so when I, you know, when people are like, Oh, what should you recommend? Well, I can give people, you know what, what the data shows as the, the most important things, right?

00;50;54;09 – 00;51;10;24
Dr. Joe Allen
But the person I’m talking to might be like, why I do that? I do not do that at my meetings better. Right. And the reality is they do those three things, but there’s five other things that maybe they didn’t think of. So the pattern of what people need to make their meetings better varies from person to person and from organization to organization from group to group.

00;51;11;11 – 00;51;30;11
Dr. Joe Allen
And so for me, one of the things that I do often is I do meeting observations and I provide feedback and I provide coaching to the meeting leader. And it’s really fascinating to see the pattern, right, because they’re so different and I’ll be this person, I’ll get this set of suggestions and this person will get a completely different set of suggestions.

00;51;30;26 – 00;51;43;29
Dr. Joe Allen
And so I guess my answer to my last thing I want to share is don’t get discouraged and don’t feel like you have to be like everybody else because you probably not. There isn’t a silver bullet, but there’s an awful lot of ammunition for making your meetings better.

00;51;44;21 – 00;51;50;22
David Hall
Yeah, and there’s a lot of great things that you can learn, but best practices from other. But find out what works for you, right?

00;51;51;01 – 00;51;52;02
Dr. Joe Allen
Correct. Yeah.

00;51;52;21 – 00;51;54;21
David Hall
So what’s the latest thing you’re working on, Joe?

00;51;55;10 – 00;52;29;05
Dr. Joe Allen
What? Honestly, I’m working on well, I’m actually in the process of looking at meeting equity. Right. So fast that anything that happened during the pandemic is when we switched to virtual meetings. Suddenly there was more equality in the participation rate immediately, but over time that started to go away, right? So so how we defined equality was just amount of talk time, talk time before the pandemic and face-to-face meetings was distributed in a way that you would probably expect it.

00;52;29;21 – 00;52;55;09
Dr. Joe Allen
White guys got to speak the most, women got to speak less. People of color spoke even less. Right? There was not equality in the meetings. That was that was the reality in most organizations. We went online and it was equal those times or closer to equal in a lot of organizations. But over time, those same groups, they started to the the biases that we had crept back in.

00;52;55;21 – 00;53;33;14
Dr. Joe Allen
And so what I’m working on now is a cycle, a psychometric or a psychological measure of meeting equity. How, how, how much are people feeling like their meetings are a place where they can where they can share their ideas and opinions and they feel equitable around the table, around the of the virtual table, communicating with each other and I’m very concerned about how do we make sure that we benefit from the diversity of the of the people that we have in our room, and make sure that the people who are quiet, like the introverts, get a chance to share their their ideas.

00;53;34;01 – 00;53;46;25
David Hall
Yeah, that sounds amazing because like we’ve been talking about, everybody has something to say and everybody’s voice needs to be heard. So absolutely. Look forward to hearing more about that. And then, of course, working people find out more about the great work you’re doing.

00;53;46;25 – 00;54;09;20
Dr. Joe Allen
Joe Well, you can go to my website WWW dot Joe Allen dot org. That’s where I’ve got links to all my books and my research and so forth. In there you can also find any of my books suddenly virtual, suddenly hybrid, and of course, my most recent one running effective meetings for Dummies are all available at your bookstores or online on Amazon.

00;54;10;04 – 00;54;29;03
Dr. Joe Allen
So you can check those out. And also, you know, look me up. I’m a I’m a professor at the University of Utah, which means my email for the university, is is public domain. So if you have questions or thoughts or ideas, shoot me an email, you know, I’ll get I get a lot of email, but shoot me an email, reach out.

00;54;29;03 – 00;54;33;16
Dr. Joe Allen
I’d love to hear what people think and what how people are doing and what your experiences are in meetings.

00;54;34;05 – 00;54;36;24
David Hall
All right. Thanks again. This has been a wonderful conversation.

00;54;38;13 – 00;54;39;19
Dr. Joe Allen
Yeah, it’s fun.

00;54;41;17 – 00;55;06;27
David Hall
Thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out to David at quiet and strong dot com or check out the quiet and strong dot com website, which includes blog posts, links to social media and other items, semi topics or guests you would like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free type-finder personality assessment on the quiet and strong website.

00;55;07;18 – 00;55;29;25
David Hall
This free assessment will give you a brief report, including the four-letter Myers-Briggs code. A lot of link to the show notes. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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