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Humanize your team meetings

Chase Damiano
12 min read

What a summer.

I had quite a few people reach out to me after this post on LinkedIn, believing I was going off the grid again like I did in 2019.

Not the case, but this summer was an attempt to both focus on family and HUMAN AT SCALE with grace and ease.

And, it was the best summer we’ve ever had—by FAR.

The trick for us was finding the right mix of activities to do together and open-ended time for spontaneity. Plus, an intention to wrap up my work days earlier than usual (not perfect every day, but it was pretty good).

And, aside from the daily summer camp drop-off and pick-up schedule (which, shame on me for selecting some camps that begin in the middle of the day…), it led to more presence, more connection, and to simply just be.

“Just being,” for us, became this deeper interaction: full of play, humor, creativity, and joy. Nothing to “do” other than exist in the same space of my fellow humans and connect.​

This led me to think about our interactions with our teams at work.​

The truth: 100% of real human connection happens synchronously, live, in real-time, in the present moment that we call NOW.

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Yet, many founders and leaders of teams I meet wish to reduce their meeting time to the absolute bare minimum. With many pressures of growing a business, I don’t blame you.

Double-yet, I wonder…

What if meetings are exactly what we need in our culture right now?

Could meetings be…

  • The connective tissue that upholds our culture?
  • The consistent rituals that keep us motivated and engaged?
  • The space to unearth what’s real for us right now?
  • The place we can come together and belong?

Every interaction with your people is an opportunity to connect on a deeper level and peel back the layers of indoctrinated “work norms” of our past.

Like the one about “being professional.”

Or the notion that every interaction has to be “productive.”​

So I’m calling for our meetings to be a little more human right now.

How to humanize our meetings

There’s a finite number of “meeting types” within entrepreneurial organizations. Each with a specific intention, a desired result, and a typical agenda to drive it.

I advocate for founders and leaders to design systems of meetings to engage with your people proactively.

But, it’s not to squeeze more juice out of your day or your people—it’s to put you into a rhythm of leadership.

It begins as a ritual, then it forms a habit, then it forms a flow.

Eventually, you’ll graduate from all the templates and frameworks and feel into what it’s really all about.

  • That accountability begins with you
  • That you are the person your team looks up to and seeks to learn from
  • That you don’t need to have all the answers all the time

You can learn more in this video, How to Create Intentional Meetings, where I walk through the common meeting types within entrepreneurial companies.

​I wrote all this down in a PDF called Essential Meeting Structures. I dig deeper into the various types of meetings, provide sample agenda, and common patterns to avoid. Enjoy 👇🏼​

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