The first real step to success is recognizing that there is always room for improvement. Feel free to quote me on that, because I just made it up and it’s a gem. Ready for your next gem? Your EOS® Level 10 Meetings™ are not perfect.
Smarmy comments aside, it’s definitely true. In the Entrepreneurial Operating System® we shy away from the word “mastered”, because we like to think that mastery is something one aspires to, not something you one obtains.
That’s the whole reason the Level 10 Meeting Agenda has a section in which your team rates the meeting. You aren’t looking for judgment or criticism. You’re looking for ways to improve.
And, truth be told, if you aren’t open to communicating about ways to improve your business, EOS probably isn’t for you, anyway.
So, you know you’re supposed to rate your meeting. But, how do you do it effectively?
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HOW TO RUN A LEVEL 10 MEETING?
If you have just started using the Entrepreneurial Operating System, or are struggling with your Level 10 Meeting, you should read up on them first.
If you’ve got problems with the L10, you should check out those articles for some tips on running them.
This article won’t deal with problems during the L10. Instead, we’re going to focus that critical few moments at the end when we rate the Level 10 Meeting.
Step 1: Communicate That Honesty Is Rewarded
With years of working as a Certified EOS Implementer, I’ve worked with plenty of teams / clients that have had to deal with this situation:
- Me: How would we rate this meeting?
- Everyone: 10 out of 10. No doubt.
- Me: Jane, what percentage of to-dos were actually done.
- Jane: Twenty.
- Me: Frank, how many issues got solved?
- Frank: Well…none really got solved. But, we talked about all of them.
- Me: So, if you didn’t accomplish last week’s tasks and you didn’t solve anything, why was this a 10 out of 10?
On the surface, you might think that this team just doesn’t understand EOS. But, the problem isn’t that Frank, Jane, and the other members of this team are too stupid to realize their meetings are nowhere near a 10 out of 10. If that were the problem, they wouldn’t have made it this far to begin with.
The real problem is that they don’t want to give the meeting a bad score.
Maybe they don’t want to be punished for complaining. Maybe they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Maybe they are just hiding from their own failures.
Whatever the reason, the result is the same. The team isn’t going to improve until they openly accept that they have room for improvement. This is the primary reason that self-implementing EOS is dangerous: people often need the outsider’s voice to call them on their self-deceptions.
Step 2: Create A Rating System You Can Agree On
Once you’ve got your team convinced that yes, you really do want to hear what they think about the meeting, you still need some common language. Not all teams need a rating system, but if your team is struggling with rating your Level 10 Meeting, I suggest considering one.
What does a rating system accomplish?
First, it gives your team common vocabulary. Just like with our Core Values™, a big part of communicating what we want and need in business is having a shared vocab. People need to understand what you mean when you say “good meeting”.
Second, a rating system will help many of your team members assign a quantity to things that may otherwise seem a bit ephemeral. When someone asks, “was the meal tasty” you had better believe that a professional critic hows an entire laundry list they go down to define that word “tasty”. And each item on that list is being factored into a final number in their head. If you want great Level 10 Meetings, your team needs to be professional Level 10 Meeting critics.
Finally, a rating system is a constant reminder to keep yourself honest. Walking down that list in your head forces each member of the team to look back at the meeting and ask themselves honestly how it went. Lying to yourself is a whole lot easier, when the truth isn’t staring you in the face.
This is the Level 10 Meeting rating system for our meetings at Whittle & Partners. You can use this to get your team started on making your own.
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Step 3: Encourage Your Team To Think About Their Answers
This step may sound like a no brainer, but it’s worth mentioning.
Your team is going to be tempted to just rate the meeting well to move on, even with the new system.
If someone gives the meeting a perfect score, ask why. Reward a good answer. Same goes for if they dock the meeting points for some reason. Ask them why and reward their honesty.
Creating this culture of honesty takes time and work. You’ll have to stick with it.
Step 4: Stick With It.
Like I just said. You need to stick with it.
Keeping up with rating your meetings is an important part of ensuring the meetings are helpful.
When you feel your meetings are getting stagnant or returning to the way they used to be, the first thing you look to should be the honesty of your rating.
When that rating is honest, the discussions on how to keep the meetings at a true Level 10 will come organically.
Follow this simple steps and you should be getting the most of out that very crucial 5 minute rating period in your Level 10 Meeting.
Meet the Founder
Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011. Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.