In EOS® quarterly sessions, I always ask teams, “What kind of scores are you giving your weekly Level 10 Meetings™?” If I hear low scores – sixes, sevens, eights – I ask, “What would make your meetings a 10?!” People often respond, “We don’t give 10s. There’s always room to get better.”
Avoiding giving a 10 because you just don’t do that misses the point that the Level 10 Meeting, if done well, should be scored a 10. I’m going to tell you what a perfect 10 looks like and how to get better scores in your Level 10 Meetings.
There are Five Earmarks of a Great Level 10 Meeting:
- Same day
- Same time
- Same agenda
- Starts on time
- Ends on time
It really doesn’t get any better than that.
While it is the responsibility of the Level 10 Meeting facilitator to conduct a tight meeting, it is just as important that the participants speak up during the meeting if there are things going on that will make the meeting not great. Be open and honest here. If someone arrived late or two people hijacked the meeting or the whole team wasn’t fully engaged, call those behaviors out.
I occasionally observe a Level 10 Meeting and offer my own suggestions. Most teams tend to need help in the same areas, so I tend to make the same suggestions frequently.
Six Ways to Improve Your Level 10 Meetings
- Start on time with Good News. This is a segue to get you to transition from working in the business to working on the business. It brings a human element by sharing both personal and business best.
- Reporting mode. The next three agenda items are all about reporting. Making sure that everything that’s important in your business is on track, your numbers, priorities are on track, and all your people are happy. Watch the clock. So often, people get chatty and give too much commentary during the reporting section of the agenda. You are not solving anything here, just reporting.Any number or Rock that’s off track, you drop it down to the Issues List. Any customer or employee that needs to be discussed, you drop it down to the Issues List. When you identify these as issues and drop it down to the Issues List, you are making sure you are talking about the most important things you need to discuss that day.
- To-do List. This brings a little accountability to your meeting. Review all of last week’s to-dos to make sure they all got to-done. 90% should be done. Anything that needs to be discussed from the to-do list gets dropped down to the Issues List.
- Drop it down, drop it down, drop it down! It is so tempting to ask questions during the first five agenda items (which should take 25 minutes), but resist! Here’s a good rule of thumb: if more than 10 or 15 seconds of discussion starts, raise your hand and say, “With all due love and respect, do we have an issue we should put on the Issues List?”
- Really follow the IDS / Issues Solving Track™. Your first order of business is to prioritize the issues list with ‘1’,’2’, and ‘3’. Don’t debate and don’t ask, “What’s that Issue?” Come knowing what issue you think needs to be solved now. Your second order of business – and every team really could get better at this – is to strive to identify the real issue. It takes a disciplined effort to identify before doing a lot of discussions. Go to your EOS Toolbox™ – it is I, then D, then S – and avoid tangents. Identifying and agreeing on the real issue is the hard part.You have a full 60 minutes for issues solving if you’ve followed the rest of the agenda. The only reason we are discussing is to solve issues. Some weeks you’ll get to one issue, other weeks 15. But as long as you are prioritizing the most important issues, you’ve done great work.
- Conclude on time. When there are five minutes left in the meeting, you move to conclude with three quick things. Recap the to-do list, discuss if there are any cascading messages to cascade to the rest of the organization, and rate the meeting on a scale of ‘1’ to ‘10’, ‘10’ being best.
When you score the meeting, this is the chance for your team to self-correct. The standard for a meeting score is ‘8’ minimum. If it’s not an ‘8’ you simply ask “why wasn’t it an ‘8’?” so you can self-correct. Each week improves based on the feedback.
When you start on time, end on time, follow the Level 10 Meeting Agenda and solve your most important issues each week, that is a great meeting.
Originally posted on the De Witt LLC blog
- Download a copy of our free eBook, How to Lead World-Class Meetings
- Unlock the EOS Toolbox™️ to download a copy of the Level 10 Meeting™ Agenda
- Download the Issues Solving Track™ from the EOS Toolbox to learn how to IDS (Identify, Discuss, and Solve) issues more effectively.