I want to share a very simple technique today that I think can add tremendous value.

I attended a meeting the other day and before we got down to the business of the agenda the leader asked us each to reflect on one thing in business and one thing personally that we were really excited about. After a moment or two we were asked to share those two items with the group.

I’m sure meeting facilitators have been doing this kind of thing for years, but I’m sure we’ve all attended meetings that began by simply diving in without pause.

What I observed gave me reason to believe every meeting I ever conduct should start this way – all hands meetings, one on one meetings, project meetings, planning meetings, even meetings with outside vendors and suppliers.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • You could physically feel the energy in the room lift as each individual shared something positive
  • Everyone in the room became centered – yesterday and the last email were put away
  • The meeting was immediately collaborative
  • I deepened my relationship personally with each attendee
  • I learned more about each professionally than I had in a year

I think the rush to get on with on it keeps us from understanding each other. With understanding comes empathy, compassion, knowledge and perspective – and from these things we are all better prepared to work with each other.

Try this technique in your next networking setting and see how much deeper and more interesting your conversations are.

If you have large group meetings that make sharing with the entire group unmanageable simply ask people to pair up and share individually and then call on a couple people to share with the entire group.

I think you’ll find that this little, simple technique can change the entire dynamic of your meetings and eventually impact the culture of your business and quality of your relationships.

So, tell me what’s one thing your totally excited about right now in your business and in your life.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • I’m so excited that we’ve begun the process of expanding and growing to more fully meet the needs of our client base. It’s like a light bulb has turned on, and we no longer see the challenges as overwhelming, but exhilarating and thrilling! I love this advice, it’s very timely (as usual) and I’ll definitely be using this technique in the future. Thanks for sharing! ~ Susan

    • Awesome Susan – now, what one thing you’re excited about in your personal world?

      • Funny, that took me a few minutes because I’ve been extremely focused on managing my business more effectively – ultimately because then I can enjoy more time with my family, friends, outreaches and hobbies! And THAT really thrills me:) SO I’m excited that I can see free time in my future. How about you, John?

        • I get that alot – ask an entrepreneur about business and they won’t shut up, ask about life and they have to remember that they have one 🙂

          I have a new book coming out in Oct and it’s all about making work worth it – so I’m jazzed about some new folks this topic will touch.

          Personally – today at least, I’m excited about my new bike and really reigniting my love for cycling.

          • Looking forward to your book, I enjoy your writing style. Have fun on your new bike:)

  • Love this, John.

    I think it’s the centering, focusing part that is just as important as the “positivity”. Ever heard of the 6-hats technique? I love using that in meetings as well for much the same reason— focus.

    Personally excited about getting married next month 😉 And excited about the new website my team just launched last week.

    Thanks for keeping us inspired! Cheers, Brad

    • Hey Brad – not familiar with 6 hats – I’ll look it up.

      Congrats on getting married – and few things more fun than launching a new site.

  • Adam Beshara

    At work I’m getting the opportunities to learn more about marketing and the data that comes with each campaign. At home, i’m taking some of those same techniques and trying to come up with a side business. My wife and I came up with some great ideas last night!

    • Adam – that’s great – I really hope you and your wife get to launch a business – nothing better in the world.

  • Great tip! I aim to bring these qualities to my meetings. I’m really excited about my “visual way of working” and guiding clients through a strategic planning process that is filled with lots of energy, collaboration, connection and great results. And, relaunching my website that will showcase this work. On the personal side, I’m excited about my recent marriage and relocation to Charleston, SC.
    Thanks for, yet again, another great post!

    • Very cool Jocelyn – would love to hear more about visual way planning and congrats on both move and marriage.

      • I’d be more than happy to tell you more. I LOVE the visual way of working!

  • Susan Lannis

    Love this! As President Elect of my trade association (NAPO) I am busy emersing myself in techniques to being great teams – I’ll definietely use this technique. Thanks for sharing the idea!

  • I think this is a great idea, but it shouldn’t be used for every meeting. Honestly, if I’m in a crunch and someone asked me to do this it would make me a little irate and would personally rather just get started. I’m sure if it does give the the meeting a more positive beginning though. It seems better used as an good ice breaker to a presentation that will follow.

    • Sure Amy – that’s fair but use it as an excuse to stay distant – the just get to it mentality in business is robbing us of true relationships

  • Here’s a related, but experimentally-proven method to get people to feel good about you AFTER the meeting. Ask them to reflect on the best thing that happened during the meeting. If it’s a small meeting or class, ask them to share it with everyone. If it’s a large group, ask them to share it with their table or the people next to them

    This assures that their last mental image is good. Be sure you do this before any kind of survey is taken. It makes a difference.

    If you have control of a survey, and you are interested in having people say good things about your class or meeting afterwards, make sure the survey only asks about positive things. Don’t ask people about what went wrong or how you could improve. That leaves them with a bad last mental image.

    I’ve used this technique in college classes (I do it at the end of every single session) and I’m always one of the top-rated instructors for my subject. People leave feeling good about my classes because they just told each other the best thing that happened during class.

    • Thanks Dave – yes that’s a great addition to this for sure.

  • Love this! Immediately sent to all of our managers, and I am going to try it on a one-on-one meeting I have right now!

    • Justin – love hear how that goes

      • For the one one one’s it was a bit awkward getting it started… For the group staff meeting that we had, it went great! It definitely got things off to a good start and brightened up everybody’s Monday!

        • I agree, but I think you can do it one to one if you just make it more casual, more like you’re simply asking someone to share what’s up

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  • Steve Baines

    Energy feeds off itself – whether it be positive or negative. Whether your in a meeting, working one on one with a client, giving a presentation or spending time with family it is so important to have good energy in your space.

    Thanks for the post, John, and the tip to help bring that into meetings and conferences.

    Cheer,Steve @stevebainesbiz

  • I’m excited that I get to meet people like you John that has a passion for what you do. Really great idea that I will certainly try in my next meeting. I can see how it will bring a wonderful positive energy. Learning as much as we can about our online ventures is important, but getting to know each other builds those positive connections.

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