Lets face it, most meetings being held right now, and the thousands more scheduled for tomorrow, will be boring as hell and a poor use of time.

Why? Because they’re not effectively lead. Your average meeting leader and participant alike thinks it’s easy to hold a stupid meeting.

They’re absolutely right. It's easy to hold a "stupid" meeting. Unfortunately, that's the way most of them turn out. And it's because few of us see the importance of "meeting process." We are masters of production, but we tend to neglect "how" we get things done.

This has got to change. I say we start a meeting revolution!

I’m calling on each and every one of you, no matter how low on the totem pole you reside, to begin a personal campaign to change every meeting you attend. I’m about to deliver your marching orders: 12 Acts of Courage that if acted upon, will change your meetings for good. Here they are:

Act I: K-No-w It. Know what honors you and your time and to say “no” to everything else. Learn enough about the purpose of a meeting before it happens to make an educated decision around your potential contribution. This calls the meeting organizers to a higher level of clarity on their purpose—-essential for the success of any meeting.

Act II: Ask for It. Get your personal and professional agenda added to the meeting agenda. Boldly asking for what you want provides the direction and energy that’s often lacking in meetings.

Act III: Prepare For It. Tap into your meeting genius by being thoroughly prepared. Know what and whom you need to know so that you are prepared to gracefully respond to challenges.

Act IV: Adjust Your Att-It-ude. Where you come from as a group member when you make interventions has a strong bearing on how you’re received. If you come from a place of curiosity when making suggestions, you’re more likely to be heard. If you release judgments of others, you give them the space to change.

Act V: Say It. Realize and express your truth in service to the group. For most of us, speaking out publicly is our greatest fear. Getting clear about why you're afraid to speak, when it's time to speak, and how to speak makes expressing your truth easier.

Act VI: Focus It. Focus your group on a common vision. Vigilantly challenge your groups to be clear on their objectives and to improve how they work together and you will set the stage for your group to actually get better over time.

Act VII: Park It. Keep your group on target by avoiding tangents. In a world ruled by distractions, it’s critical to avoid detours on the way to your objectives. Capturing and deferring important but tangential issues helps keep your group on course while respecting ideas outside the scope of the agenda.

Act VIII: Contain It. Effective groups need operating norms to establish healthy boundaries. Norms hedge against dysfunctional behavior that dilutes physical and emotional energy, while still offering participants the space to creatively pursue their objectives.

Act IX: Deliver It. Convert talk into action. One of the biggest complaints leveled against meetings is that, "Nothing ever happens!" Participants become disillusioned and tune out when this becomes the norm. Ask questions to encourage action in your groups.

Act X: In It, Not Of It. Avoid groupthink. The tendency to maintain harmony at all costs can harm your groups and the victims of your group’s decisions. Understand the symptoms and remedies of groupthink to stay connected to your group’s collective conscience.

Act XI: Facilitate It. Facilitate full participation. Fully participating group members support decisions made, offer access to the collective wisdom and experience of the group, and reduce the possibility of groupthink. As a participant, invite the quiet ones to express themselves.

Act XII: It’s All Good. Transform conflict into collaboration. Healthy conflict is an essential ingredient for group collaboration. Unhealthy conflict, that defines a winner and a loser, should be avoided. Adopt an attitude that any fight you engage in must be a fight to a win that benefits all concerned.

Now go forth and uplift your meetings and yourself!

Author's Bio: 

Steve Davis, M.A., M.S., is a Leader’s Coach, Infoprenuer, and free-lance human, helping facilitators, leaders, educators, trainers, coaches and consultants present themselves confidently, access their creativity, empower their under-performing teams, and build their business online and offline. He is the Founder of the virtual university http://www.FacilitatorU.com. Download the first three chapters of his book which offers a more thorough treatment of these 12 Acts for free at http://ThisMeetingSux.com.