In This Episode…

I have been a long time power user and teacher of Mind Maps after encountering them in Tony Buzan’s landmark book “Use Your Head”.  I was fortunate enough to meet and work with Tony.  So Mind Maps are a powerful tool and today I decided to apply them to my march towards more effective meeting behaviours.In this episode I share why and how I did that and how the small bit of effort I made had an immediate impact on my next meeting.

Episode Transcript

Hi, and welcome to today’s episode of the profit productivity podcast. It’s your host, Michael tipper. Who else would it be now Today I’ve continued my March into effective meeting behaviors. And what I have done today is I have been continuing to design my next productivity master class with my client. And this was typical of routine meeting is something we are doing on a regular basis getting together, right. We’ll meet tomorrow. We’ll meet the day after to do X, Y, and Z. And so this is one of these meetings where you don’t necessarily agree upfront what the agenda is because it’s an ongoing evolution of a particular product. In this case, it’s a masterclass and you probably need to define the things on the fly. So I thought, well, what about creating a template Such that every time I meet with other people, then I have a format to remind me of the key questions.

I need to be asking myself whenever I have a meeting. So I thought what’s the best way of doing that. Now I have been a fan of mind mapping for 30 years. Now. I have worked with Tony Rosanne who sadly passed away recently, and it’s a fabulous tool. It’s something that I have written about in the books. I’ve done a memory and I’ve taught it to literally hundreds of thousands of people over the years. And so I thought, well, let’s use that then. So what I did, I thought, well, let me knock up a quick hand-drawn templates using a mind map that I can then use as the basis for maybe designing something a bit more formal later on. So that’s what I did. And I’m hopefully going to put a quick scan of the template I created in the show notes for this. So you can see it for yourself, but basically what it consisted was a very simple mind map.

Had these branches are the top. It had Brown to the details, the date at the time, and who’s going to be, who are gonna be meeting with then there was a branch of focus, which is focusing on the outcome and the purpose, probably the two most important branches on this moment, getting very clear on what the meeting is going to produce and why it’s doing that. Then there was a brand for the series of bullet points for the agenda, and then probably dominating the lower part of the mind map was a brunch for notes, which I’d take the key notes from the meeting. Then there’s a branch for decisions, captured actions taken, and then what the next steps were. So I created that. It’s simple, it’s a, it’s very easy to knock up quickly and I’m hoping to create something I can just print out in the future.

And then I used it in today’s meeting. So we got together on a zoom call. And the first thing I did was say, okay, what’s the outcome, what we’re trying to produce. So we had a bit of conversation about that and then understood why we were going to do it. And the great thing about it is it wasn’t a forced conversation. It seemed a very natural conversation to get very clear on what we were trying to achieve in that meeting. And we did, and we worked out how we were going to do that. And then we had the meeting. we captured some decisions about the design of the masterclass that we’re producing and then identified the actions and what the next steps were. And it seemed to be, be very, very easy. Now, one of the things that I have been reflecting on is am I trying to force the random nature of these things into a process, or am I taking the random nature of these things and capturing them into a process

And I think what I’ve created is probably the latter, because if you try and force randomness, creativity, spontaneity into a process, it doesn’t really work because it’s no longer random, as long as spontaneous. There’s a lot of creative, for example, however, if you take the output from that and process it, then that is a way of capturing. It’s a way of organizing. It’s a way of sorting it. At least that’s how I’m rationalizing it in my mind. So today I’ve been really pleased with the fact that I have taken another step forward. Credit is a resource that is going to be useful for me and maybe useful for you as well, that I can then build upon to start being even more effective in meetings and then take where I was last week and banish that to the realms of history and look forward to now being continually effective.

I’ve still got some way to go because these are a collection of ideas and experiences. I haven’t properly formulated them into strong habits and routines yet, but it’s a starting point. That’s probably what my next set of activities are going to be. How do I make sure that these are automatic to the systems are in place for me to do that And so far, what I’ve found is that this morning when I had this meeting, I was compelled to go and make sure I’d organize exactly what I needed to do. It wasn’t something that I felt I wasn’t a to do list. It was something that I was driven to from my inner being, which probably indicates to me, there may be a, my identity is changing around how I deal with meetings and that I think it’d be a good thing because I think the identity is probably where all the problems actually lie when the identity is not good. So that is today’s episode until tomorrow.

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