How many of you spend one hour or more in meetings each week? Two hours? Three hours? Four hours? More. How many of you have been in meetings that start late? Ten minutes late? Fifteen minutes late?

How do you feel when that happens? What does it say when someone schedules a meeting and then makes you wait for fifteen minutes to start the meeting that they scheduled?

What are you hearing and feeling?

How about "This person thinks I am unimportant."

Are you seeing and feeling that they don't value you?

Are you thinking the person is disorganized?

Are you thinking the person is not very professional?

Are you thinking that the person can't be counted on?

Are you thinking the person made a commitment and then did not keep it?

Isn't that lying?

Is that person you?

Make fewer promises. Keep all of them.

How can you be better than that?

If you want to set yourself apart and appear to be a genius in your organization do one thing different over the next six months.

Start your meetings on time. Finish one minute early.

How many promises do you keep when you:

1. Start your meeting on time
2. Stick to your agenda
3. Hold people accountable for time
4. Hold people accountable for behavior
5. Appoint a time keeper to keep people from hogging your meeting
6. Finish your meeting one minute early.

Easy answer-six.

By simply starting your meetings on time you set yourself apart from most other leaders in your organization. Every time you make an appointment you make a promise. This is a promised appointment with how many people? Ten? Fifteen? Twenty? More?

By simply starting your meetings on time you keep a promise to a number of people. You SHOW people that you can and do make promises and keep them. Do this once an it is an aberration. Do it twice and it is a curiosity. Three times a trend and four times on up it is a reputation being built.

You have made what kind of promises in your agenda? Depends and I will ask you make sure these things are included.

First-triumphs, accomplishments, successes, improvements and successful failures. Remember what Ken Blanchard said? Our primary job is to catch people doing things right or almost right, right?

Second-a review of assignments and results from the last meeting. As long as these are successes! Never counsel or go over major failures in public of individuals in front of their peers. Exception-sales meetings.

Thirds-opportunities. What kinds of opportunities we have to grow.

Fourth-training. Especially if you can have one of your people demonstrate their growth and success in your organization by teaching their peers.

Now what else can you do to make your meetings wonderful tools?

Hold people accountable for time and behavior in meetings by appointing a time-keeper and a sergeant at arms to enforce the rules so that you can lead the meeting!
"UNFAIR" is a demoralizer and when people see that some of their peers are not held to the same standards as they are-you will lose the respect of your team.

And finally-FINISH YOUR MEETING ONE MINUTE EARLY! Why? The dictionary definition of happiness is expectations exceeded. People expect meetings to go long. Finish a bit early to show that you can keep your promises.

Remember: Show people you are trustworthy-don't just tell them!

Your remember your English teacher. You know the one who would always underline many of your sentences and write. "Show don't tell!"
sad face man
The same thing applies to leadership. Simple things, making fewer promises and keeping all of them, starting your meetings on time and stopping a minute early, show that you are trustworthy.

In the next episode we will show you a way that you might be able to recapture trust after it has been violated. And we will use the same method to gain trust more quickly from people new to you or your organization.
Your Homework Assignment

1. Start and stop your meetings on time
2. Stick to your meeting agenda
3. Hold people accountable for behavior in meetings
4. Hold people to time limits as they speak in meetings
5. Finish your meetings one minute early
6. Enjoy your improved reputation.

Author's Bio: 

Long before he became an energetic and powerful speaker and trainer, John Cameron was a proud member of the 1st of the 509th Airborne Battalion Combat team.

Following his military service, he earned a business degree before spending several years working as a stockbroker in Carmel and Sacramento California. Following this, he spent several years in the advertising field, leading his sales team to 37 uninterrupted quarters of growth.

When he became a speaker and trainer, John already possessed a wealth of life and workplace experiences to draw upon for his presentations. The result is seminars fraught with strategies and techniques that have been tested and proven to work in the real world.

A dynamic and entertaining speaker, John Cameron leaves his laughing audiences eager to put his ideas to the test and re-engaged to face all challenges awaiting back on the job.

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