If you’ve ever been part of the corporate world, you would probably be painfully familiar with the notorious meetings. They’ve been a suspect for some time for being wasteful in terms of time and productivity.
Usually, the problems are either in the participants and how ready they are or in the unclear agenda, structure, and expected outcome.
Here, however, we’ll be exploring the truly meaningful meetings that can be of irreplaceable help to you. Of course, we are talking about those with your Buddy.
Good and important things come into existence at these: goals reviews, adjusting the direction, boosting up confidence in your own capabilities. When done properly this “brain-storming” with your Goal Buddy reduces the risk of giving up and betraying your dreams.
We intend to present how often and in what manner you conduct these so that you squeeze out the maximum you’re capable of.
Nearly 60 “meetings” a year?!
Let’s start by giving this term a definition, or what we mean by it in this article and in our system.
What we have in mind is when you and your Buddy make analysis of what’s already done and then outline future targets. These rendezvous are three types: weekly (focusing on the steps), quarterly (to discuss the 90-day action goals), and yearly (to re-define vision).
That may look like an overkill but it’s definitely worth it – they exert such a positive influence on energy and motivation that your subsequent performance inevitably shoots up. You stick to your objectives so well that the toll of everyday life can’t become overwhelming. It means only one thing when this optimal balance is gained – future success.
Before we move on to how often and under what order such a get-together should proceed there is an essential issue to consider.
No, it’s not about the meeting. Your Buddy’s presence is not required. But it’s crucial and it makes sense to become part of your daily routine:
Every day spend couple of minutes on what you have to do this week.
Let’s say you set four 90-day goals. Each week of the quarter you must perform one step for each of them or a total of 4 per week. If you don’t want to forget or miss them you’d better make it your second nature (or just set up an app reminder) to open them every day.
Once you’ve done that we look at how to work as a team.
In fact, this isn’t a meeting either. Or, at least not a tête-à-tête one.
A little bit of history. In the past, while we were still working on and building up our system, we used to set a date and place to share thoughts about our goals. However, we soon found that this wasn’t quite practical. The commitment to see regularly each other was overtaxing our calendars and we had trouble scheduling it during the workday.
Gradually, we reached the optimal balance for communication and weekly steps – a short phone call every Monday morning.
That’s how it’s held.
Weekly Review Structure
First of all, it is quite consequential to follow a well specified set of rules. This will spare you some extra effort and the conversation will be as useful as nice for both parties.
We recommend a 20 minute phone call, 10 for each of you.
Within just few minutes you tell your friend about last week: what you did, what you didn’t manage to do, and what was difficult and challenging. What come next are your intentions for the next 7 days. The Buddy listens carefully and then asks questions for clarification. That motivates and helps you to correctly outline your new weekly steps.
And then the roles are reversed.
That’s the dialog mode in which you take turns to share, listen, ask and answer.
What can go wrong
It’s plain and simple. But if the rules are not followed it may not work out as well.
In the worst case scenario, you may even quit. There are two potentially fraught moments you’d better know how to avoid.
# 1 Skipping the appointment
First, of course, is when you fail to show up at all.
If for one reason or another, excusable or not, this happens then you try to do it yourself. Probably the part of the self-inquiries will not be as great as when coming from your partner. Regardless, you still scrutinize all you’ve done and are about to do.
It’s not unusual that the two of you cancel it simply because of overlapping schedules. It is vital to do it as soon as you both are online. Otherwise, our experience shows that the rhythm gets disrupted for a while and then it is close to impossible to get back on track.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed”
Make sure this proverb rings true for good as well as bad times.
We have noticed an interesting pattern:
On a normal day with its usual load, almost no one has much trouble with staying focused. The problem resides elsewhere.
You get out of synch with your goals routine when the going gets tough, professionally or in personal life.
That’s why it is mandatory to make your appointment especially when it’s the hardest to do so.
# 2 It doesn’t go as it is supposed to
The other potential trap is that this short recap isn’t always 100% effective.
When even one of you hasn’t done their homework there is no plotline in the conversation. The person starts wandering, switching from one topic to another and all this transpires into hours wasted and energy lost. There is a real chance that after just a few of these the relationship with your Buddy will fall apart.
“It happens to the best…”
Here is an illustration of the point when an acquaintance of ours was on the phone for a full hour with their Goal Buddy. After a few weeks, they tried emails instead. However, communicating in this manner is not so engaging and easy. They were having fewer and fewer of these till the moment when the whole thing ended.
We too had a period when our talks were way too long. This was happening when our system was having its growing pains and our conversation unfolded in endless and not quite focused exchange of ideas and opinions.
Our aspirations are always an interesting topic which transforms into long discussions.
Nothing bad here – you can spend hours if you wish but not before you’re done with the weekly steps.
There is good news too!
It’s only getting better
All Goal Buddy couples eventually climb the learning curve. Just follow these guidelines:
- Get yourself ready in advance with a clear notion what will be the theme that day. Limit to the absolute minimum improvisation and most importantly the “blah-blah”.
- Run the meeting in orderly and disciplined manner – 10 minutes each and in turns. Keep track of time.
- You make yourself most useful when you listen carefully and ask the right questions. For example, you recognize and consequently stop your Buddy when they are too much into the end result instead of putting the emphasis on the action itself.
- Don’t digress from the topic. Resist the temptation to make general statements regarding the vision or the 90-day goals as there are those other meetings specifically dedicated to them.
And since we just mentioned it…
90-day review and why it’s a must
While the weekly steps are the tactics, the 90-day goal is the strategy that wins the day. Often it is far from perfect and may sustain quite an unexpected metamorphosis.
So it’s advisable from time to time to stop, take a breath and look around to make sure you are on the right track and no change, of course, is required. The end of quarter is all about seeing the big picture.
The purpose of the 90-day meeting is to get an unambiguous and straightforward idea about what you want to do. This clarity is a phenomenal advantage – without it, people easily get lost.
What is the 90-day review?
It is an in-depth analysis of what’s been done towards your 3 – 4 vision goals in the last three months.
Together you can assess and re-think the effectiveness of the different strategies applied and draw a conclusion accordingly. When you start with taking a good measure and end up with more confidence and renewed motivation then you have done it right.
Next, you define the 90-day goals – what will be the focus of your efforts, what you will engage in and what the desired end result should be.
In fact, all of this is a prerequisite for an effective and meaningful run of the weekly meetings over the next 3 months.
How is the 90-day one done?
The preparation is crucial: you assess in advance the past quarter and then draw conclusions. After that, you email these to your Buddy and they do the same so that you can familiarize yourself with theirs and get ready with comments and suggestions. That will provide you with the starting points for a complete and focused work.
As for the appointment itself, make time of about 3 to 4 hours before noon. Again, split it 50 – 50 between the two of you. And don’t forget what’s the priceless here – the questions.
Your Goal Buddy’s enquiries
That’s exactly what you can’t do alone no matter what. An in-depth conversation with your brother-in-arms will make your understanding and attitude much clearer.
For obvious reasons, even if you consider yourself fully prepared and up to the task, the true value will be born only in a frank but disciplined discussion. You will notice how other people’s inquiries will trigger new insights and deeper understanding of your personal aspirations. It’s quite likely that you re-examine, adjust or even completely refashion your objective.
So, you schedule a meeting every week plus another one every three months. Do you think that’s all of it? Of course not, there is more.
The most wonderful time of the year
During the magical days of Christmas, the clock seems to slow down and everyone has the happy and somewhat relaxed holiday mood. This is also the best opportunity to abstract yourself from everyday life, to look at back with a different set of eyes, to reflect on things including your goals.
Re-examine your vision
These days are the best to explore in debt your vision. Although your dreams give clarity and direction nothing is set in stone. Everything around you undergoes changes, you grow and learn non-stop. So, it’s perfectly normal that things you once thought to be the end point of your aspirations might evolve as well.
No one can afford to wait for 25 years before they realize this. The annual review is the answer.
How to set up and run the annual meeting
Unlike the quarterly ones, this one is a full day event. It starts with an evaluation of the long-term vision. In the morning you do some exercises, visualizations, and employ separate approaches to clarify any issues with it.
The most indispensable of which is the “why” question: What is the ultimate reason for your goal? Do you still want it? Has anything changed since last year?
The rest of the day goes like a quarterly appointment – the next 90-day goals are outlined and their first weekly steps are set.
Who do we envy?
Surprise, surprise! That’s you – because you are one of those people who are fired up by the idea of achieving their objectives and realizing their potential to the fullest. You are so lucky to have the opportunity to get all the resources of our system and thus have a unique and life-long experience. Get ready to invest in yourself and to go forward down the road we were the trailblazers of.
Make sure you register by email for everything new on our site and familiarize yourself weekly with a new concept, a “trick of trade”, or a piece of advice how to be more successful. You can make use of our notifications and have a reliable reminder of your weekly steps.
Now, write in the comment box bellow and tell us what are the issues you’re struggling with when you think about how to realize yourself. Maybe these are like “Is this the right approach?” or “Am I happy with my choices?” But it could be anything that’s on your mind. We are eager to hear and find out how to be of more help to you! See you soon!