Your personal brand and how people perceive you as a leader are in every single moment of interaction with your team. This includes business meetings. Personal branding expert Bobby Umar shares 3 tips to help you deliver your meetings in a manner that align with a brand of greatness, authenticity and meaning.
We all have meetings. We all need meetings. In fact, the higher you go in your organization, the more important and the more frequent they tend to be.
Middle managers use 35% of their time and upper management 50% of their time in meetings.
Yet your employees don’t look forward to them. The statistics paint a dour picture:
- 47% of all meetings are seen as a time suck
- 60% report that preparing for a status meeting takes longer than the meeting itself
- 46% of employees would rather do any other unpleasant activity (e.g. trip to the DMV, watch paint dry, commute) than sit in a meeting
- 73% of employees do other work in meetings
- One study estimated the cost of this problem to be $37B annually in the US alone
This emotional toll will have a direct effect on your personal brand, which means your reputation and how you are perceived.
So, what can you do as the senior manager in the room to elevate your brand promise when it comes to meetings?
1. Formulate a Clear Purpose, Outcome and Agenda
A huge part of branding yourself is clarity. When you create a purpose that every invitee understands, it aligns them to the cause. When outcomes are clear, there is direction for each attendee. And finally, the agenda allows a more succinct focus to drive the conversation. Only invite the minimum number of individuals needed to accomplish the stated objective and make it clear that you want them to actively participate, rather than just listen.
2. Flip the Meeting to Keep it Fresh and Engaging
If you want to re-jig your brand, then making a fresh change and sticking to it consistently will drive more interest. Here is how you do it:
- Before your meeting, record a quick rundown of your meeting information and the action items needed as per step 1. (even better if you can send a quick video message to the team)
- Share that recording with your meeting attendees a day or so before the scheduled session.
- When attendees gather for the meeting, skip the deck and get right to the discussion: Q and A, brainstorming, decision making — whatever input gathering method best fits the situation.
3. Follow-up with Focused One-on-Ones With Each Attendee
Each person on your team wants to make impact. A group meeting often takes that feeling or perception away. When you meet one-on-one, you give them a chance to shine, hear their expertise, and build more genuine connection and trust. At the end of the day that is precisely the kind of thought leadership personal brand we all want.
According to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman “Sometimes I feel like the company’s psychiatrist, but I do feel like listening to people and hearing about their problems (personal and professional) cleans out the cobwebs and keeps the organization humming.”
Need more personal branding thought leadership tips for your team, your organization or yourself? Learn more about DYPB – Discover Your Personal Brand at dypb.ca.