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Podcast Season 4, Episode 6: Get Shit Done Step 2 (Part 2) — Leverage Staff Meetings to Help Clarify Ideas

It’s time for part two of how to clarify your thinking for yourself and others as part of the Get Sh*t Done Wheel (listen to part one). On this episode of the Radical Candor podcast, Kim, Jason and Amy discuss how to leverage staff meetings and think time to clarify your ideas.

Listen to the episode:

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Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance

An effective staff meeting has three goals: it reviews how things have gone the previous week, allows people to share important updates, and forces the team to clarify the most important decisions and debates for the coming week.

Your job as the boss is to establish a consistent agenda, insist that people stick to it and corral people who go on for too long or who go off on tangents.

Here’s the agenda that Kim has found to be most effective:

  • Learn: review key metrics (20 minutes)
  • Listen: put updates in a shared document (15 minutes)
  • Clarify: identify key decisions & debates (30 minutes)

In Radical Candor, Kim writes: “In addition to all your regularly planned meetings, people want to talk to you about this or that; urgent matters will arise that you must deal with. When are you supposed to find time to clarify your own thinking, or to help the people who work for you clarify theirs?”

“My advice is that you schedule in some ‘Think Time’ [on your calendar], and hold that think time sacred. Let people know that they cannot ever schedule over it. Get really, seriously angry if they try. Encourage everyone on your team to do the same.”

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Radical Candor Podcast Checklist

  1. Avoid the fundamental attribution error by focusing on specifics, not attributes. Instead of saying (or thinking) “What an idiot,” be very clear about what went wrong. Try the CORE model — Context, Observation, Result, nExt stEps. Focus on helping the person fix the problem by providing specifics they can act on, rather than criticizing personality traits that they can’t alter.
  2. A well-run meeting can save you time by alerting you to problems, sharing updates efficiently and getting you all on the same page about what the week’s shared priorities are. Remember, timeboxing is your friend. Take 20 minutes to learn, 15 minutes to listen and 30 minutes to clarify.

  3. Schedule Think Time away from your desk. Think Time is a mix of focused thinking and mind-wandering that allows for the kind of problem-solving, creativity and innovative mindset needed to tackle those difficult problems. Try taking a walk and removing distractions.

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