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The "Running a Meeting" Lesson is part of the full, Complete Intro to Product Management course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Brian shares the importance of owning meetings and the difference between good and bad tangents. Preemptively addressing known issues helps meeting organizers control the conversation and flow of the meeting.


Transcript from the "Running a Meeting" Lesson

>> I think I talked to quite a little bit about this, but let's go ahead and do this. I talked a lot about meeting prep, which is I'm gonna say 90% of the battle because if you haven't done that first and you get into the meeting, good luck.

How are your improv skills, right? And the more nervous you are about this, the more prep you should do. Because if you get in there and you get flustered then you kind of just like you lose the room. So on the space, and this is what I like some of the most Meek product managers I've seen just used some basic tactics to kind of own the space, but make sure that you're not just like the timekeeper.

The person with a stopwatch in the corner kind of keeping things going. You wanna make sure that everyone acknowledges that you are the person there that is owning the space and that you are running the meeting. And that's just generally by saying like, hey, we got this agenda today.

I'm gonna keep us on track where possible. And this is, now we're getting into my personal preferences. Instead of passing it off to someone else, I generally like to be the person speaking. That lets me control the message still. And I'm just trying to talk about like, if you wanna get something done, the more you can own that space, the more likely you are to accomplish your goals.

Not always possible, sometimes you're if someone's gonna show a big demo off and you don't know how to do it, obviously don't. Do it right? But yeah, a good rule of thumb is to not pass off the presentation if you can avoid it. Make sure the person that helps you prepare is credited.

I'm not telling you to take credit from anybody there's none of this is about any of that. This is just if you are owning the conversation, you get to all the words that are said the room. So I say soft rule there. Well, no hard rule on the space.

Soft rule is don't pass it off if you don't have to. Good tangents and bad tangents. Make sure if I mean meetings, get derailed all the time. I'm giving you all these rules of lhow to not do it, it's still gonna happen. It's still happening, it happened to me this week, right?

And it's something that I'm very conscious of, but there are good tangents, there are bad tangents. I'm not gonna tell you how to judge that. You will generally know yourself as I wanna go here. I don't wanna go here, but when you identify it's a bad tangent. Generally say that you can say things like, hey, we have things left in the agenda.

Can we start an email about this? People will respect you more if you actually follow through on whatever you're saying. If you're gonna say, let's start an email about this, start the email. Or you can just say, hey, we don't have time in our agenda today about to talk about this.

If you are interested in talking about this, can you set up some time with me or with a person to talk about that? And then you put the ball back in their court, I guarantee you they'll never do it because no one ever does, right? But if you own the action item, follow up on the action item.

If you don't own the action item, then it's not your problem. People will respect you more if you follow up on what you say you're gonna do. I said this before, but I'll say it again. Don't be afraid to interrupt anyone. I've very rarely got some pushback saying, like, hey, I actually do wanna talk about this, in which case, if it's at this point, it becomes basically a power dynamic, right?

Can they tell you to do that? And can you tell them, no, I actually wanna move on? I will let you be the decision maker about that. But I'll say it just never, it almost never happens to me. Generally, people are pretty respectful, like, yeah, cool, we do need to move on.

I'm gonna throw this in here, this came from my MBA, when we were talking about persuasion, there's a thing called inoculation theory. It looks like I messed up my link here. I'll fix that by the time this gets recorded, but if you click IT here, I think this is just the Wikipedia page.

It's the idea that if you know someone's going to try and pull your argument apart in a particular way. If you go through it first before they get to bring it up first, just the social psychology of that means that they tend to believe you first because you got to it first before they did.

It's a tactic that you don't really wanna use too frequently because frequently it just never gets brought up. You have a bunch of ideas of what could happen and you're wrong about much of it. But when you know what's really gonna happen, it can be a useful tool of saying like, hey, I know this person is gonna try and pull me apart in this particular way.

Let me tell you why this is actually an interesting what, here's a different way of thinking about that when you get to it first. People tend to believe you over them. I'm careful of applying too much psychology and psychological warfare in my meetings is not generally the thing I'm trying to do.

I'm generally trying to get to the correct decision, and so if someone is right, I want to let them be right, and I want to learn from that. But sometimes you just know, this person is stuck on this thing, and they're gonna bring it up again, and I don't wanna talk about it.

Let's talk about it before they get there, it'll help. One of the first things my persuasion teacher said in our class is, I'm not here to get to teach you how to tap people into bad deals. I'm here to talk you into or show you how to get good deals and I generally believe in that.

I want a good deal I don't wanna be right. So I'll let you think more about that. So we didn't talk about anchoring and a bunch of stuff like I'm not here for hardcore negotiations, that's just not what I am and not what you want to learn from me.

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