Want your meetings and planning sessions to have a greater impact? Learn a powerful question to make meetings work better in your life.
I started a series in October on Questions, because knowing the right question is halfway to finding an answer. Questions we’ve already talked about are:
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- How will you know you are done?
- How do you know?
We are going to continue the series today with the question: “What are we going to do next?”
I remember at the end of a performance review in a job I had many years ago a manager telling me that I did this. He said one of my strengths was that I wouldn’t let a meeting end without knowing what we were going to do next.
To me, and hopefully you, the important thing is action. Not planning. Not even figuring out how or what to do. It is the doing that matters.
If you are in any kind of corporate job, then you understand how meetings can be a waste of time. They are a waste because you feel like you could be doing something more important with the time. Often that is true, but sometimes the problem isn’t the meeting, but what happens next.
It is easy to talk about a problem. Talk about solutions to that problem. Talk about how to implement those solutions. Then break for lunch and never get anything done. Then you come back a week later and the problem still isn’t solved because nothing actually happen.
No one answered, “What are we going to do next?”
What actions are we going to do to implement what we talked about in the meeting? That is the key to getting things done.
This is true of any project you are involved in. You need to have a very good idea of what the next action is. Otherwise it is easy to get distracted between steps or tasks in a project. Keep asking “What are we going to do next?”
This is a key to the power of mastermind groups too. I did a live stream with two of the members of one of my masterminds back in May. It is an interesting and informative discussion.
But one of the key parts of a mastermind group is ending with goals for the next time you meet. The actual actions you are going to take and be held accountable for after this meeting is over.
You also need to ask yourself this question, even when working alone. Not knowing what to do next is the fertilizer for procrastination and distraction.
Even when I was writing my novel last month, not knowing what was going to happen next made getting to writing much harder. It made the writing itself harder while I figured out what to do next.
The last tip on asking what to do next. You should make sure you are answering it with what you should be doing next.
What is the best action to take, not just any action? You could always answer the question, “Go get donuts.” But that is what we call a ‘bad’ answer to the question of the day: “What are you going to do next?”
This is the last in our series on questions. I’ve created a playlist of these videos that you can find here.
Questions are a key source of distinctions for life and I will undoubtedly do episodes on them in the future. They won’t be part of a formal series, but they will get added to the playlist.