A reader asks: Jeff, I recently was at a meeting, where throughout the day, some attendees would rush in late, others would interrupt a presenter, some would even answer cell phones or send text messages. I thought it was incredibly rude behavior.
Then I realized, at my company we're also guilty of the same bad behavior. How can I establish a meaningful, yet fun "set of expectations" for our company's meetings?
Answer: Great question. And perhaps easily answered by referencing something I spotted a few years ago in Minneapolis, while working with Don Kielley and one of his Vistage CEO groups.
Hanging on a meeting room wall, was a sign called "Clubhouse Rules," which Don and his leaders created or adapted from ideas generated by the Vistage network. It said …
- Freedom to be "bold."
- Straight talk in a "care-frontational" manner.
- Stimulate and encourage each other.
- Make it safe to be vulnerable.
- Build on the comments of others.
- Respect confidentiality and maintain integrity.
- Be productive.
- Listen powerfully and actively with an intention to contribute.
- Share your own examples, use "I" statements.
- No side conversations,
- Cell phones: $5 per interruption.
- Be on time
- $5 if late or leave early.
Anecdotes, amusements and adventures
I hop onto the treadmill in the Renaissance Hotel's fitness center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and see the following warning on the control console:
Caution: Before starting treadmill …
- Straddle treadbelt.
- Attach safety clip to clothing.
- Read owner’s manual before use.
- Consult physician for target heart rate.
The guy before me, followed all four instructions. His three mile workout, took nine hours.
My brother-in-law Alan, is a great guy. He's also incredibly funny. By accident.
Case in point: While eating at Johnny Rockets, a place known for their big burgers and thick shakes, Alan ordered a double cheeseburger and a vanilla shake. As the waiter left the counter, Alan called him back and said, "That's too much food. Just make it a shake and a single cheeseburger."
Ten minutes later, Alan had wolfed-down the burger and shake. The waiter then asked, "Dessert?" Alan replied, "I'll have another cheeseburger!"
A friend of mine has recently had some hearing loss. And on occasion, he forgets to wear his hearing aid. This oversight, produces some memorable dialogue.
For example, he was late to a program we both attended. When he hurriedly sat down next to me, I asked, "Was traffic bad?" He answered, "You won't believe what happened. A guy was hauling a boat and the boat uncoupled. The truck kept going down the highway, but the boat took off in another direction. It was stuck by the road!" I said, "Sounds like Noah!" He looked at me with confusion and replied, "No, I didn't know him!"
From the "time is not of the essence" department: On a recent Friday, I sent an e-mail to a company. Here's the automatic reply sent back:
"Thank you for contacting us. We routinely check e-mail on Tuesday."
Several years ago, I heard this hilarious exchange between two National Basketball Association TV analysts: Doug Collins: "His offensive play has electrocuted his teammates." Steve Kerr: "Didn't you mean electrify? If he electrocuted them, that means he killed 'em!"
My family and I spotted this sign at Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry, promoting their Genetics Decoding Life exhibit: You won't see our frogs in a fashion show, but they have designer genes.
How come French fries, always taste best … to-go, out-of-the-bag, while you're driving?
Penny the cabdriver: "So, are you married?"
Me: "Yep. 34 years. How 'bout you?"
Penny: "Got ya beat! 35 years!"
Me: "Impressive! What's the key to your success?"
Penny: "My husband, is a responsible juvenile!"
Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or email@example.com. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the revised 4th edition of the best-selling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.