[00:00:00.090] - Chris
In this episode of great Practices, I'm talking with Rich Maltzman and Jim Stewart, co authors of the book great meetings build great teams. We'll discuss why meetings are such an important part of building a strong project team, the benefits of doing them well, and the consequences of doing them poorly. You'll also find out what Kano design theory, very interesting, by the way, has to do with people expecting more and more out of your meetings and what you can do to be sure to deliver. Plus, find out what it means to be large and in charge, and understand what poor driving habits have to do with understanding bad behaviors in meetings.
[00:00:38.070] - Narrator
It's hard to say when something is a best practice, but it's much easier to know when something is a great practice. And that's what this podcast is all about. Interviews with PMO and project management leaders who, through years of trial and error, have discovered their own great practices and are now sharing their insights with you. Now sit back and enjoy the conversation as Chris Copp uncovers another great practice in this episode.
[00:01:06.870] - Chris
While meetings are a necessary evil for project managers, some say that over 50% of a project manager's time is spent in meetings. Now, this could be with a project team, executives, customers, vendors, and a slew of other people. So this also means that project teams, executives, customers, vendors, and a slew of other people are also spending their time in meetings, not just with this project manager, but other people as well. Now, you'd figure with so much practice, we'd be able to have great meetings that are productive, inspiring, refreshing, and clear. Yet we find the opposite to be true, don't we? We find that most meetings are non productive. They're soul sucking, draining, and confusing. We're going to put an end to that today with the guests that we have on rich Maltzman and Jim Stewart, co authors of the book great meetings build great teams. Gentlemen, welcome to great practices.
[00:02:04.010] - Rich
Great to be here.
[00:02:05.060] - Jim
Thank you, sir.
[00:02:06.470] - Chris
First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
[00:02:10.940] - Jim
Go for it, Rich.
[00:02:12.290] - Rich
Sure. So, very briefly, Rich Maltzman, a 40 year practitioner in project management and engineering, and then more recently working as full time faculty at Boston University as a.
[00:02:23.890] - Jim
Master lecturer and Jim Stewart. I'm an independent project manager and agilest. Independent for about 20 years now, but a lot of project management and prior to network engineer, I do a lot of things. I write courseware, I write questions, I manage projects. I consult. I've done pmos. I guess my next frontier has something to do with artificial intelligence. But I don't know what that will be. Rich will tell me and then I'll just do so. And I've written a couple of books with Rich. This is actually the second version of this book, but we'll talk more about that. But it is the second version of this book, so we'll get to that when you're ready.
[00:02:56.810] - Chris
Okay, excellent. Well, that's what we're absolutely looking forward to getting into there. Now, the reason that you're both on together, and this is the first time we've had two guests on together, is that you've created something together. And Jim, you mentioned it briefly, but you want to tell us a little bit more about this book that you've recently co authored. Yeah.
[00:03:12.750] - Jim
So for everyone's edification, the first edition of this book, four or five years ago started life because I said to Rich he had been writing books, let's write a book together. And a friend of mine said, how about those big meetings you do? So we wrote a book together giving the long story short here about meetings. But they were focused around these big two day meetings both of us, or multi day meetings both of us had taught or worked on and also for teach because that's meetings as well. But when it came time to re up it post pandemic, we thought, well, rather than focus on a big two day meeting, let's focus on, not just focus on, but talk more about virtual meetings and working remotely, working, distributed, those type of tools that have grown since then and just about, I like to think of it as really a toolkit. First time I've used that word, rich, a toolkit for project managers to run meetings, a how to nuts and bolts how to with some academia, some science. But that's the idea behind it. So we're really trying to get people to run better meetings.
[00:04:13.400] - Jim
I don't know how better to say that, but at base we're taking a situation where people aren't communicating well or running meetings well and trying to make them have or help them have better meetings. In really, in a nutshell.
[00:04:24.650] - Chris
Yeah. No, it's definitely a necessary topic. So we've got great meetings, great teams, great practices all fits together for our discussion this morning. So that's perfect. So let's go ahead and start talking about a little bit about these meetings then. Why are meetings so important to great teams? Why is that critical?
[00:04:45.940] - Jim
Go ahead, Rich.
[00:04:47.060] - Chris
[00:04:47.370] - Rich
So I think that you have to realize that a meeting like the one we're having right here in this podcast is a communication, a form of communication. And as you mentioned, Chris, project managers spent 50% of their time in meetings, and most PM thought leaders think that 90, 80, 90% of project management is communications. And I agree. I think it might even be higher. So if you cannot run a meeting that will have an immediate impression on the project team you are trying to build, they will leave the meeting muttering under their breath, and maybe not so under their breath to each other. This guy, this person is running our project. They can't even run a decent meeting. So it's a confidence builder if it's done well, and it's a confidence buster for yourself and for the team if it's done poorly. So that's why it's so important to become a good project meeting facilitator or if you're not to delegate that to someone else. It's one of the things we have as a theme through the book is that if you aren't great at running meetings and it's an important meeting, you can delegate that to someone else.
[00:05:54.040] - Rich
But we'd rather see you develop the skills so that you can do it yourself.
[00:05:58.240] - Jim
And can I add one thing, Chris? I recently did finished an agile transformation. The book is subtitled a book for project leaders and agileists. And so as an agile coach, I had to help in a pharmaceutical situation. Scientists become agiles. Now, they were pretty adept at it. What I discovered, or maybe should have discovered without thinking about it, is even though they became better at agile, they still weren't good at running meetings. And Agile has a fair amount of meetings. So even though I taught them agile, I still have to come to them and say, you're starting your meeting too late, which is why it's ending late, things like that. So just because somebody does waterfall, traditional waterfall, or agile or anything, there's nothing in either literature of either of those. The word meetings didn't show up in the pinbock five, and even then it barely described nothing about how to do it. So on both sides of the equation, people need to learn how to run meetings, or everything just sort of falls apart.
[00:06:54.700] - Chris
Yeah, it's like the whole thing. Like if you're an individual contributor, then, oh, you must be a great manager. And it's like, no, that's a whole different skill set that you have to bring with you in order to accomplish that. And I really appreciate the point, rich. Like you're saying, it sets the tone. If you've got somebody that's in there and they're stuttering and they're stammering and they're not organized and they don't have a clue about the direction of the meeting. That just sets the tone for the project and for the team. And it's just not a good, it's just not a good look, is it?
[00:07:22.830] - Jim
By any stretch, it's that whole thing about first impressions. You come to your first kickoff meeting and the guy's fumbling the ball and you not, this is not going to be good.
[00:07:32.950] - Chris
So finish this sentence for me, if you could. If done well, meetings can blank again.
[00:07:40.960] - Jim
I'll defer to you, rich. I prefer age of a beauty, so go right ahead.
[00:07:45.190] - Rich
Okay. If done well, meetings can build confidence for you and the team. They can build your reputation as a leader. In fact, my latest push is that project management is a misnomer. It's project leadership. And you can demonstrate that project leadership by calling the right meetings. First of all, some meetings can be an email we all know or a text. So you call the right meetings with the right people and we talk about this and how to do that in the book, and you build your reputation as a project leader rather than a project manager. So move on to the next version of this question.
[00:08:24.690] - Chris
Well, if meetings are done poorly, what does that mean?
[00:08:29.840] - Jim
Well, we alluded to that before, but let's dig a little bit deeper. Say you have a 1 hour meeting to discuss some software issue, or not just issue your agenda, discuss the project, et cetera, and you have an agenda. And in that hour you as the leader are able to perhaps discuss two things out of the eight you plan to discuss. Well, there are six things left on the table that should have been discussed. Now sometimes it might be a good reason, those two things might have been big risks that came up. But if you knew going in, you supposed to discuss those eight, you allow people to sidetrack the meeting or you rambled on or whatever, that's cumulative. Now you got to go to the next meeting where maybe it's next week, you got those other six things, maybe something has gone to the top. So it's a consistent series of, I hate to use the word failure, but inefficiencies that lead to people being frustrated that my item isn't being discussed. We're not getting to this, we're not getting to the point. And at the end of the day, all that cumulative stuff means the vendor wasn't contacted because never came up in the meeting, or we didn't test the such and such because we forgot to discuss that.
[00:09:43.820] - Jim
So it's a cumulative effect of those, you can survive one or two, but a series of them will just. We have an expression for the first in agile called technical debt. Technical debt in agile is when you shove technical problems under the table and get to them eventually. That's okay, as long as you recognize it and fix it. You can line up with a project debt of things. Oh, we didn't do these 30 things yet because we never discussed them. So I think that's a large measure of it, in my opinion.
[00:10:11.420] - Rich
I just want to add that in our book, we refer to a book called the Surprising Science of meetings, and there's been some significant studies of lasting, severe negative effects of poor meetings. They carry over just like Jim had said, but they're surprisingly lasting and they actually can be kind of a contagion to a project team. And in this book, which is more about organizations as a whole and not projects, it's lasting.
[00:10:40.670] - Jim
And Rich came up with a piece of information. It was too late for the book, showing literally the signs of the fact that back to back meetings, they studied more and more stress, back to back to back to back to back. So by the end of the day, you have these maybe poorly. I'd be running rich and I'd be running poorly running, I think if by the end of the day we ran eight in a row every single day. I've seen that happen. And then, of course, not even to mention outside the scope of the book. People who tell me routinely that they have ten or 15 projects they're running when they should have three or four max, and they're back to back meetings, I'm not even going to get anything done.
[00:11:14.140] - Chris
Yeah, it's a recipe for disaster.
[00:11:16.080] - Rich
[00:11:16.580] - Chris
It's like I've heard it says you only have to work half day. What you decide to do with the other 12 hours is up to you.
[00:11:22.700] - Jim
[00:11:24.090] - Chris
That's ultimately what happens there. You get your work done after hours, unfortunately.
[00:11:28.870] - Jim
Yeah. Or not at all.
[00:11:30.350] - Chris
So we're going to talk about how to fix this then. Right? So we got the problem set up here and we're going to go on a little bit of a tangent and bring it back in. We're going to talk about something called Kano design theory, maybe. I think I'm saying that. Right. And rich, you want to go ahead and tell us a little bit about what this design theory is and then we're going to see how we can apply this to meetings.
[00:11:52.460] - Rich
Yeah. To me, I see something here that's not theory, but practice. So this is Noriyaki Kano. He's one of the quality gurus from the 80s. In Japan, Allah, the Toyota production system. And it's really about requirements. So this could be applied to many things, but let's apply it to meetings. What it says is all requirements are not the same. There are three kinds of requirements. Basic requirements that if you don't meet them, people get, if you'll excuse my salty language, they get pissed off. Then you have delighters, requirements that if they're met, drive people in a positive sense, crazy with delight. And then you have kind of the average requirements that as you do them better, you are pleasing customers in kind of a linear fashion. So you can actually plot this in your mind by thinking of happy sad, good bad. Happy sad is the vertical axis, and good bad refers to how well you as a vendor, in this case a meeting producer, are meeting the requirements of the customer. And you can imagine three curves, one linear curve. That's kind of the regular requirements. Basic requirements are the ones that would tail off down towards very, very sad if they're not there, like cleanliness in a restaurant.
[00:13:10.420] - Rich
And then there are the unexpected things that you can deliver to your customers, in our case, our attendees, that as you do them, they get exponentially more and more thrilled, like caviar and gourmet food on a flight to Newark from Boston that you would never expect, whereas keeping the restaurant themed. There I go again, Jim, with food analogies, you would expect to not see cockroaches and rats running around the restaurant. But as you clean it up and make the restaurant spotless, all you do is get to the point where customers will go into the restaurant. So that's the theory. I invite people to check it out because it is a somewhat visual. The visual explanation works better, but the point is, all requirements aren't the same. And we can apply this to meetings if I can jump ahead here.
[00:14:00.100] - Chris
[00:14:00.990] - Rich
We can apply this to meetings by thinking about what we deliver to our attendees. If people walk away from the meeting inspired, informed, excited about the project, feeling like they had a chance to speak up, that sounds almost like a basic requirement. In our context, that's probably a delighter, right? Whereas just having the meeting start on time, having the right room, these are more basic requirements, and if you don't meet those, you probably won't even have your meeting. In our book, we give examples of simple things. Jim gives a great example of a meeting location where it's 29 30 main street, but it's actually a complex of 17 different buildings in a campus, and you're driving around not even knowing which building to park in front of. So Kano is outstanding. It's an outstanding technique, and it's basically about the fact that all requirements aren't the same.
[00:14:57.540] - Jim
And for the record, Mr. Kano is in his. He's the recipient of a deming individual award. So he's a heavyweight. And rich loves the Kano model. He's convinced me to love it as well. Not that I disliked it. He sort of opened my eyes a little bit to it, more so than I'd been thinking about it.
[00:15:13.520] - Chris
Just, it's not something that you would normally maybe apply to a mean. It sounds like it's more product focused, more product centric. But I love the fact that the same principle is going to apply. Like you're saying, the basics, you start on time, the room is clean, you got somewhere to sit, all that kind of stuff. Right.
[00:15:29.130] - Rich
A meeting has to have outcomes. So in a way, it's kind of like a product.
[00:15:32.750] - Chris
[00:15:33.370] - Jim
And it's not unusual for quality control tools to be applied that way. Pimbok project management body of knowledge would talk about the control chart, which came from manufacturing, as a way to measure a satisfaction within customer service or whatever. So you can use quality tools in a number of different ways that maybe they weren't originally intended for or designed for.
[00:15:50.790] - Chris
Yeah. Okay, so now let's say you have been able to delight people. You just ran a meeting that inspired, informed, excited your audience. What's the catch about running that kind of meeting? Yeah.
[00:16:08.070] - Rich
So this is something a lot of instructors fail to point out about Kano. There's another arrow on the chart pointing down and to the right, to the southeast, if you will. And that arrow implies being spoiled. So as you delight people, they start to expect that delight. A good example. And I'm old enough, anyway, to remember when cars might not even have a radio. And then the cars would typically come with an AM FM radio, and then that would be stereo, and then they would include. And now I'm really aging myself. Eight tracks. Now, you would expect in any car that there would be, at a minimum, a radio that's capable of satellite Sirius XM reception. And if it didn't have that, you would be very disappointed. So that effect of being spoiled and entitled is the catch. And that's good, though, because it keeps us on our toes. We should be continuously improving how well our meetings are run. That's the catch.
[00:17:13.070] - Jim
And rich actually remembers when they had to crank cars to start them, but he didn't want to say that.
[00:17:18.800] - Rich
Well, I remember feeding hay.
[00:17:23.150] - Jim
The joke, of course, is I'm actually older than rich, but it's just fun to tease them.
[00:17:29.790] - Chris
There's the whole concept of, like, what have you done for me lately? It's like you can just do the best meeting. You can nail it. You can get 100% as far as how well it went. But people, like you said, are going to want more and they're going to want more and they're going to want more because they get used to it.
[00:17:46.480] - Jim
Not only that, you can't get complacent. Yes, I'm fond of saying that other people may not love your meeting as much as you do or your project as much as you do. So you run a couple of good meetings, think, oh, I really get them in the palm of my hand, and then they have a lousy day and they don't want to be there that day. You can't take for granted that people will want to be. One guy said to me recently in a podcast I did or a interview I did, oh, I was up at a PMI session and he raised his hand and said, what if you're in a lousy mood when you go run the meeting? And I said, suck it up. I said, go sit in a corner somewhere, prepare for it, have a cup of coffee, get in that state of mind. You can't walk into your own meeting in a lousy mood and expect other people. You may find people, you run a couple of meetings, it's like people are the third time, they don't feel like it. So it's not a self sustaining thing. You got to keep working at it.
[00:18:36.070] - Chris
Yeah. It's almost like a performance, isn't it? To a degree. I mean, it's like you've got to.
[00:18:41.540] - Jim
Be on your a game, but you're right because you have to project energy. And I've seen people who get up and they've done all the right things in terms of preparation, and they speak in a monotone and so rich. And I try to project a certain amount. We teach and speak an awful lot. I've had people come to my PMP meeting classes. They're four day classes, and I think, oh, this is going to suck. It's going to be boring. I try to make it interesting, and then when we start discussing their work, they get interested. So you have to talk in interesting tones and not monotonic, because what happens, and I've seen it, is people will just sort of, if you're ever in a meeting and the speaker is speaking and people start turning and talking to each other, they probably lost interest. They tuned out and not even necessarily consciously done that. You have to be interested to be.
[00:19:33.190] - Chris
Interesting, keep them engaged so meetings don't happen without people. And people sometimes misbehave, like what you were just talking about. Know that maybe they're just kind of talking to each other. Then I may be paying attention. In your book, what do you call these? What are some examples of these misbehaviors? What are some of the ways that a meeting facilitator could cope with some of these?
[00:19:56.910] - Jim
I'll turn to my esteemed colleague from the great commonwealth of Massachusetts to begin that.
[00:20:01.280] - Rich
Yeah. So on the COVID of the book, and I know this is audio, but if you look carefully at your MP3 player or computer, if you look carefully, you'll see that each of the people sitting at the table on our cover, some, actually, some of them have shadows. Those shadows represent what we call meeting goblins. And a meeting goblin is a personality. It's not a person. It's a personality that comes out at meetings, and you've all seen it. There's that person who's normally pretty verbal. They get into a meeting, maybe especially a large meeting, and they get really shy, and they won't raise their hand when something is wrong or with a great idea, and you've lost out as a project team when that person doesn't raise their hand and speak up. We call that goblin Rosie the reticent. And we have, I think it's nine goblins, each of which is a distinct personality. And there's a chapter in the book, illustrated by our excellent artist, Christina Carlson, that shows an image of each of these goblins. And there's a whole bunch of different personalities that come out and they could change. And that's why we made them shadows.
[00:21:05.730] - Rich
They aren't the permanent personality of the person, but just like when you get in a car and you can think about this, have you ever changed your personality when you're driving? And you might swear at someone who's woaving around on the highway, and your personality gets a little bit acid. That's what can happen at meetings. And so we talk a little bit about each. We give a remedy, a set of actions you can specifically take to try to curtail that personality, make it about the meeting and not the person in getting to. Yes. Right. Hard on the problem, easy on the people.
[00:21:44.480] - Chris
[00:21:45.040] - Jim
Secondly, I think it's Rosie the reticent, but whoever the reticent person is, think about this, Chris. This reticent person may be reticent because they're shy or because they're new to the organization or they don't want to be seen as the naysayer. And wouldn't it be great if that person raised their hand and had raised their hand and said, I don't think that submersible going down to the Titanic is a good idea? Yeah, we've really stress tested that. Not enough. And I think that last time might be too much, but those people may either stay quiet or talk amongst themselves. And there's a fear often of, oh, you're not a team player. Right. That may be the passive aggressive ones. We look at the bully or the loudmouth or whatever, but sometimes the resident one hurts us just as much. So we have strategies in the book for dealing with people who will hijack your meeting. The problem is that the meeting is yours to run. Here's my two pieces of advice. You're large and in charge, and you're not worried about being liked. If you worry about being liked, it's all over. And you're large and in charge.
[00:22:51.230] - Jim
You can't go home at night and say to your spouse, and your spouse says, how'd the meeting go today? Well, I had this 1 hour meeting, and Bob took for 45 minutes, and it's all his fault. Went downhill. No, it's our fault that it went downhill because he allowed Bob to hijack the meeting.
[00:23:04.790] - Chris
Yeah. And that's. I mean, what is it? It's better to be respected than liked. And part of that in that work environment is going to be the fact that you do need to be large and in charge to be able to take care of that and work through that. Let me ask you this. Let's go back to Rosie the reticent. What would be just kind of a glimpse into maybe, how could you handle that as somebody that is leading that meeting? What could be a solution to that?
[00:23:28.720] - Rich
Well, a lot of these things come from teaching. A lot of the wisdom here comes from just being a good mentor or teacher and also reading body language, which we talk about as well. In the book, you can see someone squirming in their seat. Again, you can't see this, but you can see someone squirming in their seat at a meeting. You can watch facial expressions, rolling of eyes. You call on that person. Worst case, you pull the person aside afterwards. You don't necessarily put them on the spot, and you say, Rosie, you seemed uncomfortable with that decision. Can you tell me more about what you're thinking? Because I think you were reacting. A one on one might be necessary in that case. But again, there are paragraphs after paragraphs in the book where we talk about each of these personalities and specific actions you can take. This is to Jim's point, it's a tools based book. It's a nuts and bolts book, where there are specific remedies for some of these personalities, and there are specific remedies for other problems and meetings.
[00:24:28.270] - Jim
And I lean towards the private conversation. Rosie's reticent. We have a break. I talk to her aside. She says something, and I say, can I use this? Can we discuss this? No. She might say, I'd rather not then I might say, not right then, because it's clear. I'm always been talking to Rosie later in the day. I've had some private conversations, I've been thinking about it, et cetera. And maybe this is an issue. So Rosie isn't on the spot necessarily. Somehow the information needs to be out there that this thing isn't going to work. And if she doesn't want to speak up or he doesn't want to speak up, it still has to get out there. The project is the most important thing, but you never want to have people lose face in the media. The only time that might happen is really, in my opinion, at least with worst case, is the guy or gal who's a bully or the intimidator.
[00:25:14.610] - Rich
A lot of what we talk about has to do with psychological safety. A lot of this has to do with setting up an environment in which people feel it's okay to raise your voice. And we even have tips on that, including the use of devil's advocacy and red teams and so forth, which are really important.
[00:25:31.820] - Jim
However, the scope of this is really the team members you can control. If there's a guy in your meeting who's a vice president three levels up, and he's a bully, you may have to go to your sponsor and say, I got a problem here, or if you're working, I'm fond of saying, a small company, it's a family run company, and the guy's brother in law is asking, our techniques may not work. You could try them, but you might be in a losing cause. And I can say freely here, maybe it's time to move on. If I was counseling a person in the company, I'd never say move on. Might try to get people to leave their company. But I can say here, there are certain toxic environments where this just ain't going to work.
[00:26:11.450] - Chris
Yeah, that's good advice for sure. Now, you've got plenty more good advice in your book. Great meetings, build great teams. Tell us a little bit more about what the reader can find in it. Where can people order this book? Tell us a little bit more about this great book.
[00:26:30.350] - Rich
So the book has a significant amount of detail, although it's a fairly thin book. This is published by business expert Press, which has a theme like your podcast, concise. They want concise, to the point books. We do provide an appendix and we do have a website where you can get more information and more detail. That's projectmeetings us. Projectmeetings us, where we even have some additional materials for you.
[00:26:59.560] - Jim
In part, I think he was also asking about what else we might find in there. So it's stuff about body language, a lot about virtual, which we really talk about here. So a lot about virtual body language, team building, the tools you can use virtually. There's even an appendix or later in the book about the big meeting that we've shrunk down a little bit. So we try to cover all the bases, and I think we do. I don't think we left out a meeting scenario where even talk a little bit of AI, not usually, but a little bit. So we try to make it current and up to date. But I think we covered just about every meeting or potentially teaching situation you can think of from the half hour status meeting to the multi day meeting. And like I said, it all boils down for me to two things. If you're running a meeting, well, three things. Maybe it's your meeting, or I should say you're the guy or gal in charge. You're large and in charge, or you're not. Either you're running the meeting or somebody in the room is. And not worrying about that being like thing, which is the hardest thing.
[00:27:57.420] - Jim
You say, jeez, if I tell this guy to sort of stop talking, he's not going to like me. It's almost like a deep psychological thing. But the other ten people in the room are looking at you like, let's go, let's move on. They're not going to like you. So at the end of the day, you just say, hey, Fred, sorry, interesting topic. Let's table it. We'll discuss it later. Let's move on. At that moment, he's going to feel maybe a little pee, but oh, well.
[00:28:23.090] - Rich
I think the biggest piece of the book that I'd like to make the point of is in the title. It's the idea that you use your meeting. You can, if you do it right, use your meeting as a chance to build a great team. So we have a lot in here about breaking the ice, and we give specific examples and tools of how to do that. First, that initial ice breaking. If you know, you're Bruce Tuckman, forming, storming, norming, et cetera. We help you with that aspect of getting people to meet each other. We have a tool called human bingo that we show you how to use, provide you with a template for that. So there's a lot in there for a little book. It's packed with a lot of good.
[00:29:03.410] - Jim
Information, and there's a fair amount of dad humor in there as well that we found amusing. But your mileage may vary on that one.
[00:29:11.790] - Chris
My kids will think that is very low mileage when it comes to that.
[00:29:15.590] - Rich
Most kids will.
[00:29:18.130] - Chris
You know what else I appreciate? It's got a lot of good pictures. And by meaning pictures, the figures that are in there are not the usual. It's like we've seen a lot of the images and graphics about meetings, but there's, like, a lot of very impactful new figures in there and the infographics that you have, it just really brings it to life.
[00:29:39.220] - Jim
I in particular, but I think we collectively do not like those pictures that show a bunch of models in a room pointing at a wall chart that tells you nothing. So we try to put ones in there that convey some actual information. And by the way, the struggle between rich and I sometimes is I'm trying to always make it practical. He's trying to make it a little more academic, but I think we hit the sweet spot here. It's practical and also academic. Rich is an instructor at BU. He's got that. It's not textbook by any means, but it's got both those pieces.
[00:30:08.930] - Rich
For example, for a quick example, on page 65, there's a map of the seating of a table, and it shows you where the different places that in a boardroom, which seats have power, which seats are considered middle managers and so forth. And so there's even a psychology and what I call macro body language, where you stand, where you sit at a meeting. And that's one of the figures. And I'm glad you like the pictures, because it's not just about words. Some people are affected more by visuals.
[00:30:39.370] - Chris
So this is a good combination of practical and academic. A nice pracademic, perhaps, I guess you could say. Right?
[00:30:45.810] - Rich
That's what I call myself, to coin a word.
[00:30:47.390] - Jim
Do you use that word, rich? I never. That's a good one.
[00:30:49.460] - Rich
I do. I call myself a. Huh.
[00:30:51.810] - Chris
That's good. All right, guys. Well, we absolutely appreciate you being on great practices. Today and sharing this insight into how really important it is to run great meetings and how the fact is that once you hit that great meeting, you're going to have to get better and better and better, and this book will help you do it. So we encourage everybody to get a copy of this and follow these guys, and you'll be glad you did.
[00:31:17.400] - Jim
And it's available to all your Amazon, all your finer bookstores, and a couple of lesser ones, too. So it's out there.
[00:31:25.150] - Rich
Enjoy reading it.
[00:31:26.890] - Chris
All right, guys, thanks a lot for being on.
[00:31:28.750] - Jim
Thanks, Chris. Appreciate it.
[00:31:29.980] - Rich
Thank you, Chris.
[00:31:33.150] - Chris
That was another great episode of great.
[00:31:34.910] - Chris
Practices, and we definitely appreciate Rich and Jim joining us today. What were some of the great practices and insights that came from this episode? Well, first of all, think about why meetings are so important. 50% of a project manager's time is estimated to be spent in meetings. And it was brought out that perhaps 90% of a project manager's job is all about communication. So there's no better place than meetings to provide that communication. So it's important to get it right. If done well, meetings can build confidence for you and for the team, and it can build a good reputation for you as the project manager leader. But if done poorly, it could really almost serve as a contagion, is what I believe the word was used to the team, because the effects of a bad meeting are cumulative. You miss an agenda point or two at one meeting, carries over to the next. That gets behind, that gets behind. Next thing you know, you're running behind.
[00:32:34.450] - Chris
The eight ball, and really the project.
[00:32:36.880] - Chris
Begins to suffer because of having poorly run meetings. I loved the way that rich brought out that Kano design theory as really kind of a model or being able to look at how to fix these meetings. That Kano design theory is very interesting. It's something that would be worth looking into a little bit more. But it really talks about different needs, basic needs, performance needs, excitement needs when it comes to developing a product or providing a service or even running a meeting. So, for example, a basic need of running a meeting would be ensuring that every meeting has a clear agenda and starts and ends on time. That's basics. A performance need would be maybe providing concise and relevant information during presentations and facilitating productive discussions. So people are actually engaged in the meeting, and then an excitement or a delighter when it comes to that could maybe be introducing a new and engaging brainstorming activity or bringing in an unexpected expert, somebody that nobody thought was going to be there, and they show up and just really delight everybody. So that's kind of a way you could think through taking those meetings that you're running and turning them from good meetings into great meetings that build great teams.
[00:33:59.410] - Chris
But I also like the fact that he said there's a catch to running this kind of meeting, is that as you delight people, you could begin to spoil them and they could become entitled and they could become use to these awesome meetings. So it's something that you're going to have to keep in mind, not saying don't do it, but just know that you're always going to have to be on top of your game and really bringing the best of the best when you conduct these meetings in order to make people feel excited and want to be in attendance. There was also the side that I thought was interesting that rich talked about, that people are going to misbehave in meetings. They've got this shadow side to, you know, he gave the example of, does your behavior change perhaps when you're behind the wheel of a car and somebody cuts you off? It's not who you are all the time, but there's that shadow side that comes up and you kind of can get maybe a little bit acid, is what I think he said. So the same thing can happen in meetings. People can be maybe a bully, or they could perhaps fall back into an area of shyness or reticence and not wanting to speak up.
[00:35:05.280] - Chris
So it's up to you as a great meeting leader in order to bring these people out, in order to draw them out, and you have to figure out the best way to do that. Is that going to be one on one with that person? Maybe for that shy person, talk to them after and say, look, I'd really appreciate it if you could bring these points out. You've got great points. Or maybe it's a bully that needs to be shut down in the meeting, if that's appropriate and you're able to do that. So that's going to certainly vary upon situation, and that's going to certainly take your insight and your experience as a project leader to get that done. And when it was all said and done, Jim really summed it up nicely. He said there was really two rules that he would put into all of this. Number one, it's your meeting, run it. That makes perfect sense, doesn't. It's your meeting, run it. And don't worry about being liked. It's better to be respected than liked. One person may not like you on this team because of you not letting them speak or giving them the ability to sabotage the conversation, but everybody else on the team is going to appreciate and respect the fact that you kept that meeting running and moving forward.
[00:36:19.690] - Chris
So we'd like to thank Rich and Jim again for being on today and joining us on great practices. And be sure to check out their book on great meetings. Build great teams. You can find it on Amazon, or you can click directly to their site that's in the show notes. Do you have a great practice you'd like to share? Go to thepmoleader.com, click on Explore Great Practices podcast and then fill out the form at the bottom of the screen. Someone will get in touch with you shortly. Also, be sure not to miss a single episode by subscribing to great practices on your favorite podcast platform. And if you like what you hear, we've had some great guests and we've got more lining up. Be sure to share this with your manager, colleagues, and any others that you think would benefit. Thanks again for listening to this episode and keep putting great practices into practice.