Elise Keith

CFD 518 – Elise Keith On Avoiding The Doom Loop With Lucid Meetings

ELISE KEITH is the founder and Meeting Maven for Lucid Meetings. She leads their research, publication, and product management efforts, constantly seeking the best ways to make it easy for people to enjoy meetings that get work done. Leaders call her blog “a treasure trove of valuable info and guidance” and “a game-changer for our organization.”

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When she isn't working on the industry-leading Lucid Meetings software platform, Elise shares her meeting expertise in presentations that audiences say are “inspiring,” “full of practical methods we can apply,” and “fill in all the gaps I didn't even know I had!” With a combination of experiences that gives her a unique perspective on meetings, Elise brings the awareness of a business owner, a software developer, a service provider, a researcher, and person who doesn’t like to have her time wasted, all combined with a deep expertise in meeting practice.

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Elise Keith?

Elise graduated college with a degree in theater, so that make her a creative that loves meetings. She ended up going into technology instead and found herself working for companies that believed they were going to change the world. She saw people spending a lot of time in meetings generally being unhappy to be there, but eventually during the course of her career she saw the missing link that those companies were missing.

  • What if I don’t like meetings?

We have a negative association with the word ‘meeting’ as a society and that usually leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think meetings are a waste of time, you aren’t going to put a lot of time in making it better. Our belief informs our action. The place to start is to change the belief.

Meetings at a company that cares about what they are doing, where the goal is to align and recreate the kind of culture they want to live, is a complete game-changer.

One of the keys to breaking the Doom Loop is to stop calling them meetings.

  • What does a good meeting feel like?

At a certain point in your organization you can no longer grow with just individual conversations. You need a formal meeting system to find solutions to the problems you’re facing.

Create a greeting ritual that communicates who you are and what you care about. A meeting is your moment to design what it means to be part of your company.

The icebreaker is a great ritual to open a meeting with. An icebreaker is a chance to be human and connect that way for just a few minutes.

You must have structure, but that doesn’t mean an agenda. Go over your numbers so you can keep score and help your team understand their contributions to the overall goals. Take the rest of the time and look at the top 3 problems you’re facing and figure out how you’re going to solve them.

Find a structure that works for you and then use week after week. Use one hour to learn a new meeting structure and save hours by not having to meet people one on one after your initial meeting.

  • Lucid Meetings

Education is a major component to the Lucid Meetings service. Meetings are a part of the business operating system, and communicating that is a big focus.

Only 20% of managers in the US get any sort of meeting training. You are designing the system of how your business is going to run. When you stand in front of the group you are marketing your vision of what it means to be a part of that group.

Meetings are teachable skills and the businesses that are thriving run really solid meetings. Bridgewater Associates, Pixar, Amazon, Oprah, and elite military teams like the Wildlands Firefighters have excellent meeting systems in place. Without it they wouldn’t be able to do what they do.

To move forward, you have to accept that this is an opportunity, not a burden. After that perspective shift it gets much easier.

  • Elise’s Takeaway

Find your story, find your why and tell that story to yourself so you can tell it to your team. Get your team involved in the experiment. You’re not going to get it right the first time, keep tweaking. The key thing about a meeting is that it’s not something that anybody ever does alone. Let them help you and suggest the ideas, you don’t have to do this alone.



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