How to Lead a Meeting That Doesn’t Go Over Like a Beating | Ask Clay Anything

Show Notes

Do your staff meetings feel more like staff beatings? Clay Clark teaches the proven moves that you can use to become an effective meeting leader.

Do you know of any good books about taking charge of a room or giving an informal presentation. I have an employee who needs to learn how to do it better and I’m not sure how to teach that… I just do it.


  1. Rapport / Wins
  2. Needs / Printed Agenda 
  3. Benefits 
    1. Facts
    2. Statistics
    4. Stories
  4. Call to Action
  5. Isolate Objections
  6. Call to Action Repeated
    1. Who?
    2. When?
    3. What?

Buy Traction by Gino Wickman Book – 

Tribes by Seth Godin 

Meeting Template Downloadable – 

How to deal with a disgruntled employee?

Has a difficult and terrible employee that is very bad for his business. She does not hit KPI expectations or follow the agreed-upon job description. He wants to fire her but she is also disabled and he’s worried about the legal backlash. What steps does he need to take to protect the company when letting her go? 

  1. Video cameras in the office
  2. Do what you normally do
  3. Document the moments of jackassery
  4. Have one person present when you fire / ask for resignation: “I have video footage of 3 weeks that I will upload and optimize for Youtube. It will probably go viral. You can leave peacefully or I will upload this.”


Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

Facebook How To Lead A Meeting That Doesn’t Go Over Like A Beating Thrivetime Show Compressor

You have questions. America’s number one business coach has answers. It’s your brought up from Minnesota. Here’s another edition of ask clay. Anything on the thrive time business coach radio show.

Yes, yes.

Andy asked thrive nation, we had a question that came in from a, a, a business coach listener and they’re wanting to know how can they make their meetings, their meetings, not, uh, feel like beatings. You know, like we’ve all been to a meeting, a staff meeting where you’re in the meeting and you’re a good guy and you want to be a good employee and you want to do a good job or you want to be a good manager or whatever. That we’ve all been in a meeting where the meeting is terrible. I’ve led those meetings and you and we, I think we all have, and we say people, it’s like, you want the meeting to be over but it’s not over. And it keeps going and going. That’s really terrible when it’s your meeting and you just want it to be over right. And then what happens is you say, all right everybody, let’s go get ’em.

And Jason, you’ve seen this, you’ve seen this, we’ve all seen this. We’ve all had a meeting. We’ve been to where the meeting itself is an absolute meeting from hell. Have we done, have we done? We all not seen a meeting like this. We all have. So the question for the listener was, Hey, this was this. This was the message we received. He says, do you know of any good books about taking charge of a room or giving an informal presentation? I have an employee who needs to learn how to do it better. And I’m not sure how to teach that. I just do it. So I’m going to walk you through the steps and then I’m going to make it actionable and clear. You’ve got some notes. I want to break it down. Step one, you start off every meeting with rapport or wins this report.

So you say, all right, everybody welcome to the meeting. You gotta have good energy as a leader. Welcome to the meeting. What great things happen this week? And if the people on your team say, well, we lost a bunch of customers, you’ll go, well, Hey, no, I got a win. We’re not dead. Right, right. What else is a win? And you’ve got to express an attitude of gratitude. It has to start off with some positivity then the needs. You say, what do we need to talk about in today’s meeting? In today’s meeting? We’re gonna be here for like an hour and we need to make sure we get through all these things, which would require you to have a printed agenda. Or if it’s a sales presentation, a one sheet, there’s gotta be some idea of how long the is going to take and what we’re covering in that meeting.

Then the benefits, when you tell, ask your employees to do something, yeah, you’re the boss, but you’ve got to make them want to do it right? You’ve got to convince them that they want to do it. They should do it. They need to do it. You’ve got to provide them benefits and facts and examples that, Hey, I really do want to do this. And so I would encourage you to provide facts, statistics, um, quotes when we call this gamifying. So you let them know what the goal is and how they can reach the goal. So where the scoreboard is and then how they can win and then maybe what they can win. And then what you do is you give them a call to action. You say, now as a result of this, we’ve got to go do this, we’re going to do this. The meeting should be action-focused and then you’re gonna go, does anyone have any questions before we wrap up the meeting?

Anybody have any questions about what to do or how to do it? Cause there are no bad students, just bad teachers. So do we have any questions? And then they will go, I don’t really understand how to upload the content or yeah, what list am I supposed to call? Or what do you want me to do again now? Or there’s a lot of questions and then you review what to do again. You repeat the calls to action and you clarify who’s going to do it, who is going to do it, when is it going to get done? And what happens if they don’t get it done? Because if not, you’ll have a meeting next week and nothing got done. And then you’ll start to say, well, what’s the point of even having a meeting? And then you’ll cancel your meetings. And this only happens the most often if your spouse is your partner because your spouse or your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your longtime roommate from college, someone you know, what they’re going to do is they are not going to value the meetings because you’re too familiar right now.

And so I just want to tell you, if a lot of husbands, wives listening to this, be very, very careful that if the spouse doesn’t show up, tell him privately, Hey, I really need you to be there for me here. That’s important. Um, and then have that conversation privately because if you have that conversation in front of your team, there’s always a tension in the room anyway, just cause there’s a lot of people. And then so in the meeting we’ll go, Oh snap. So your wife will say, Hey, you know, clay, I wish you would be on time for the meeting. Your wife will say, I wish you were on time, clay, and for the minute, or Carl, Carl, I wish you were on time for the meeting. Some are important. You’re there and you go, I’m sorry babe. I just was running behind. And then someone will go, Oh snap, he’s like five times in a row, how come we can’t be fired?

Or they’ll say, how come he can’t be fired? It depends what culture you’re dealing with. Sure. But some cultures are louder. Puerto Ricans, they’ll go, Oh, he’s going to get fired. Or he won’t ever get fired because he’s married to her. That kind of thing. But then if you’re like the uh, Caucasian in the middle of America, you’ll go, it was more passive aggressive. It’s like, so don’t do not address somebody not showing up to the meeting, um, who you’re married to or dating and, or your partner. Don’t do that in front of everybody else. Now other rules, I put a link to it on the show notes. I have downloadable, you can download this. Okay? It’s actually an agenda that you can download, but you’ve got to start the meeting on time. Got to start. The meeting on time. Has to be on time. So much so is this important that Ben Horowitz, who is the founder of the most successful venture capital fund in the world, and he also started Opsware, which he sold for one point $6 billion.

How much do you think he finds people for being late? I don’t know. What do you think? I’m at $100 for me and like it’s $10 a minute. Oh, let me explain this to you. So if you’re, if you are late by 30 minutes, it’s $300 and he’s been doing that forever. And I’ll put a link on the show notes so you guys can see the business insider article about it. But he says that there’s no bigger sign of disrespect for anybody than being late. And he’s all, and I, I know there’s a lot of husbands wives listening, so I’m not even gonna go there. I’m just saying just please talk to your spouse privately if that’s an issue. Um, pastors who I’ve worked with for years tell me, nothing’s more frustrating than when their key people show up late to service. Worked with one guy years ago.

His associate pastor who’s on stage [inaudible] would always roll up 10 minutes into the service, into the service, just walking up on stage that’s not accepted. His youth pastor actually used to not be there. All the kids were there and his youth pastor would usually show up after the kids got there. True story. So I have found in the smaller the business, the smaller attention to detail, it’s like the, it’s the smaller the business, the less intense they are about being on time. But having shadowed, um, you know, the founder of hobby lobby or the CFO of Helmerich and Payne are big companies, billion dollar companies. All right, I can tell you they start on time. So, and I imagine the end on time too. True. So always start your meeting with good news. This will bring your team together and we’ll help to adjust the emotional state of the people in the room to start on time for the first five minutes to start on time.

Then you transition into the sort of the, the recap of what we need to talk about and that’s 15 minutes. And in that you want to go over the scorecard, review the rocks, you know the things you have to do every week. Those repeatable things like checklists and go over customer headlines or employee headlines like who quit well, who canceled, who’s mad, who’s happy, who was a key account we could land today, that kind of thing. Then for the next five minutes, we review our to do list of what needs to be done, right? And then we spend the majority of the meeting now identifying, discussing, and solving the problems. You identify the problems you does, what you’re all done. That’s why you’re there all at one time, right? You’re all there at one time. So we can all identify the problem, identify the real issue, discuss how to solve it, and assign action items.

And then we want to wrap up the meeting by knowing who knows what to do. So again, I’m walking you through kind of step one through six. Step one, build rapport, go over the winds. Just take five minutes on that step to go over what needs to be covered with a printed agenda. Print your agenda. Jason, what would happen to our meetings if Julia did not go through? We have a big screen so everyone’s looking at the screen. No one can bring their cell phone in the meeting. No one can bring their smart phone in the meeting. Nobody can be laptop in the meeting. What would happen if she did not methodically go over that agenda? It would be chaos. We would have no structure and we could not get all of that done in an hour. True. So then we go over there. We go over the agenda.

So we start step number one with the report and the wins. Step two, we go over the printed agenda. We just said, this is what we need to cover. Does anybody else here have something that you need to cover today? Then we spend the majority of the time identifying, solving, discussing the problems and once we go ahead and assign action items we want to deliver with every benefit, explain to people why they need to do it right. Then we call them to action step four then somebody is going to not know what you’re talking about and you have to ask who doesn’t? Who does? Does everybody know what we’re doing here? And when they say no, then you answer their questions. You don’t judge them. A lot of bosses, Jason, I’ve seen bosses attack employees for asking questions and in our business coaches meeting who asks the most questions, that would be mr Sean Lowman and it’s an, and it’s a delicate balance with Sean Loma.

Cause is the question King, can you paraphrase what I’ve said to Sean in our meeting about his questions? You, you Waylon, you, Sean, he’s imitating me. You’re a beautiful man that, that’s one of my favorite one that I’m trying to think of. This is what I’ll say to the channel. I know Sean you, that is a good question and I’m gonna highlight that green, which means I’m coming back to it and I love your questions but I hate your questions. I love cause you some good learning happens when you ask questions. But man, you got a lot of questions today man. He does that. And one of the, one of my favorite responses is, I don’t mean to crush your hope before seven o’clock in the morning, but, and that’s when you go into like one of those questions like should I have asked that that early?

So I’ll ask her. I’m like, Sean, I love you. I love America. I love strong roads and strong kids and strong families, but I am not going to, I’m not going to do that because Sean ask trying to ask direct questions. So I’ll be like, Hey, how come we can’t update our print piece or something? And I’m like, well highlight that green, we’ll come back to it. But he asks the most questions and there’s some great learning, but we can, as an entrepreneur who’s very bullish and wants to get stuff done, you could be annoyed by people that ask good questions. Right? And then we do the call to action. We read and we as we wrap up the meeting, we review who needs to get it done, when does it need to be done and what needs to be done. And if you want a great book, you can read about this.

It’s called traction by Gino Wickman, traction by Gino Wickman. And I’ll put a link to it on the show notes. Everybody can check it out. And Gino Wickman is the founder of the book called attraction, a business coaching program called traction. Uh, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a, um, many people that I know who have major companies love, um, his book, traction. I know the colo fitness people use his system, but I just want to make sure we get this before I have a dr Breck and Clint chime in here. You gotta print the agenda. [inaudible] you got to front the agenda and you got to start on time. Yes. And you, you got to start on time and you got to front the agenda. And I know that the vast majority people listening right now, you’re not printing the agenda and you’re not starting on time. And I know this because I used to go and shadow in businesses and people would say, can I shout?

And I said, yeah, make sure you have a printed agenda. And you start on time. And I don’t know percentage, but I would say every meeting for every business coach client except for maybe one or two started late, there was no agenda. And the boss begins, ends up arguing with his staff and ends up taking majority votes on things. Like they’ll say, how many of you want to update the playlist? This is dysfunction. And then someone’s like, you have like nine employees in your office. Let’s say you have nine employees. You go, uh, so how many of you guys want to update the playlist? And then they go, I want to update it. We all want to, we all want to update it. And you go, well, who’s going to do it? And they go, well we’ll do it. So Sarah and Carl, you’re doing it. Yeah, we’ll do it.

So then Carlos says, I’ll do it with Sarah, we’ll work together, we’ll get this done. And in the next meeting you show up and the playlist isn’t updated and it becomes the new idea of the week and the idea never gets done and it becomes sarcastic. And then people start showing up late for the meeting and then they start skipping the meeting. And then when you do have a meeting, it comes over. It feels like a beating because it’s a weird form of cognitive dissonance that’s going on because we basically are getting together every week to make a list of things we’re not going to do. Right. I mean that’s what we’re doing. So Clint, what is your take on leading a meeting and the best way to do it as an entrepreneur?

Yeah, well I love all those tips you just shared and those are things that I’ve learned that work really well also. And then a couple of things I was going to add. They mentioned asking about some books to read traction. It’s a great one. A one that I got a lot out of was just a really simple Reva’s tribes, Seth, Seth Goden tribes and it, that talked a lot about that people want to be led actually, uh, that’s proven. And also that, um, true you need to, you can become a leader. Some people think, Oh, just leaders or just people that are born with great, you know, strong personalities, not true. Anyone can become a great leader if they work at it. Um, and then on another kind of another gear is, uh, something that’s helped me a lot is when you go into a meeting, you mentioned you just have an energy. So like I’m a huge fan of Tony Robbins and so I recommend reading some of his books is more on mindset and he calls getting into [inaudible]

peak state. Quick, quick timeout. I want to make sure the listeners out there, cause you know, if you’re listening to this show, you know I have, I have ripped Mr. Robbins, I’ll explain to you. I’ll explain to you real quick. I wanna make sure we get this idea. Tony Robbins, what he teaches about energy and mindset is awesome. And I would say yes, buy it, bottle it, do it. What I find, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not trying to steal any thunder away from your cause. I agree with what you’re saying. I just wanna make sure I rightly divide this. I see a lot of people who’ve been to like six Tony Robbins conferences and they’re on divorce number two, they’re on bankruptcy number three or two and they are sufficiently motivated, but they do not know how to make a proforma. Right? They do not know how to make their website chronically compliant. They do not know how to make a marketing video. It’s taxes missing, right? They don’t have to make a checklist. And so we’re Tony Robbins ends. That’s where I start. So I want to make sure you get it. Our show is for people who are already sufficiently motivated, pragmatic, practical, put your hands to the plow, but if you’re not motivated, Tony Robins is a great place to start and please continue. Cause he wouldn’t, when he teaches about energy is powerful.

So yeah, Tony Robbins, like a lot of people just kind of listen to his stuff on the outside. I think he’s a motivator, but if you really, I’ve been studying Tony Robbins very, very deep. So he very much does get into mindset and change of state in mind. But most people just don’t get that far into his work. They just think raw, raw, and he is a good, you know, he knows how to pump people up. But the biggest thing is a power and certainty is what I was getting to. Like, I know for me, when I used to have my meetings when I was younger, um, fishy, my employees were older than I was. I would go into a meeting and I’d be kind of nervous and I was just kind of like, you know, weak. And if you go and lead a meeting from a weak position, you’re not going to control the room. You’re not going to

control the frame. Your employees can notice that. So it’s getting into a positive mindset of power and certainty. And what you, the tips that you’ve mentioned are great going into, into the meeting with an agenda and what you’re going to talk about and having power and being a great leader and speaker. And that takes practice and preparation. I would say this, that preparation creates luck. So I actually view the board members when someone says the word luck, I was replaced it with preparation sometimes says, Oh man, Oh PRIs. Lucky I go sh Oprah is well prepared. I agree. Yes, I’m well prepared. They say, Michael Jordan is so lucky. You’re so right. Michael Jordan is so prepared. They go, dude, it must be nice to be LeBron James. He’s so lucky. I’m like, he is so prepared. You’re correct. Because most people, it’s easy just to say lucky.

Sure. Cause that takes it out of your hands. Right? Brett? Talk about meetings, how you’ve got it wrong in the past. How we could get it right in the future. Give us your tips on leading a meeting. I’ve, I’ve started meetings, uh, late. I have not had an agenda. I’ve done all these things wrong before. Um, and so I think there’s a few things that you can do. One is cut out unnecessary meetings and so, you know, having like committees to create committees to create committees to never get anything done. Um, just demotivates everyone cause they know this is going to lead nowhere and we’re going to have another meeting about nothing to lead nowhere and so cut out any unnecessary meetings. But then also, um, I kinda like what you said or you know, when you were talking about sometimes there’s that vote. Um, we do a lot of ideas and solution finding, uh, by committee.

Like the whole group, the team together. We’ll create some ideas and some solutions to problems. But ultimately I make decisions as the leader of the business. And so, you know, the decision making is not done by consensus. It’s not done by everyone. Um, you have to take ownership if you’re the owner. And so you can have great people that come up with great ideas that are outside of your own thinking. And I think that’s wonderful. Um, but ultimately at the end of the day, you have to take the ownership of it and be willing to stand by your own decisions. And so you’re not doing those things by committee. What do you call, um, an employee who is perpetually unhappy and you’re, you’re leading the meetings properly. You know, you’re doing everything right and you’re, you’re being a good boss and everybody else in your office is happy, but you’ve got that one person who isn’t happy.

And what would you, what’s the adjective that you would use to describe an employee like that? Dr Breck? Uh, cancerous. Is that a cancerous and anything in cancer? If you allow it to spread, it will a weed. If you allow it to go and pulled it spreads. And Jason, you have a great business coach client, I won’t mention the name of his company, but he has a disgruntled employee. Yeah. Does he not? He does tell us the situation so the listeners can know the situation, but we will not mention any details about his company because I’m going to give him some real and raw answers to his question right now. And this right here is going to feel really dark. Okay. Someone’s going to feel like this is like a bad show. This is going to take us to the a really bad place. So I’m going to queue up my, my dark kind a stick with this.

He get past this point. Okay. So Jason, tell me the situation here. Yeah, so he’s got kind of a, a an or in his, in his departments where this person’s very negative and they’re very sluggish and they don’t, they’re in a high ranking position and don’t execute the job. So that means key performance indicators aren’t getting hit. They are horrible for the liberal culture. They’re pissing off customers and fellow coworker. Oh, absolutely. And they’re, and they’re also being very deceitful with fellow coworkers, which is causing this big unrest. So ever had that happened. Breck, he’s wanting to get them out as soon as Palmer had this happen before. Glenn. I have, yes. I’m going to walk you through how to solve this problem and 90 seconds. Step one, install video cameras in your office and make sure that everyone knows they’re up. Just like target, just like Walmart.

Just that quick trip. Put the cameras in, make sure everybody knows that they’re installed. Use I even like to have a reference monitor so they can see what you can see to make sure that they know they’re being recorded for quality assurance, for safety, for people, stealing people’s lunch, that kind of thing to just do what you normally do. Do what you normally do. Cause this employee, Jason, when he tried to call them on their under Jack ass, what did they threaten him with? ADA baby. But what? The American disability association. So they threatened to come after him and sang that as saying that they’re going to, they’re going to go, they’re gonna go to the American disabilities association and Sue him because her wrongful termination. Exactly. Because they’re disabled. Yep. That’s what they’re, that’s that’s the employees actually said to him. Now this happens all the time.

So step one, you put in those cameras. Step two, you do what you normally do. Step three, you document the moments of a jackass. Sorry, but never referenced the video footage. You’ve already told them. The cameras are up, document them all, and every time it happens, download the clip, download the clip. Then have one person present. When you meet the person, have cameras up in that room and say, Hey, I have video footage of you over the past three weeks that I’m going to upload to YouTube and label as your name called employees behaving badly busted. If you, and it’s going to go viral, I’m gonna spend a lot of money promoting the video and you are going to be known all over the internet as the world’s worst employee, or you’re going to leave and not Sue me. And then have them sign a release document. And I’m telling you, if you do not do that, you, you talk about playing hardball. I had employee years ago, an elephant in the room who did the same crap. I caught her on camera pretending to fall.

No seriously pretending to fall. And when you have an employee that pretends to fall on camera, Breck you’re a chiropractor, what kind of claim do they typically, I’m sure you’ve seen somebody trying to commit insurance fraud that comes to your chiropractor center. Have you ever had that happen? Yeah, we make it very clear that our goal is to get you whole to the point that you were at the accident and nothing more. But have you ever just straight up busted somebody? Yes, absolutely. Yeah. We have a test we call malingering test. And so, uh, what that means is that someone is, uh, you know, if we’re doing a test and they’re not actually making an effort on that test, we can actually tell. And so, you know, there’s only so many things you can say that match up with the symptoms. But then when the tests are being done and you’re like, Oh, I can’t lift my leg, but then you don’t, you can feel that there’s no effort behind them.

Trying, and it shouldn’t, you know, or you have them do a test that shouldn’t exacerbate this condition whatsoever and like, Oh I can’t, it hurts. And it’s like, no, this is not true. So you’re making it up. So you’ve seen people make it up before? Oh, absolutely. So elephant in the room, what I did is I actually went out there and I pulled the footage of the person. I don’t think they recognize that, that we had the footage of it and so I just pulled them aside with another employee present and I said, Hey, here’s the deal. Um, I know that your trying to screw us right now. Um, because I’ve seen the video footage of you actually faking a fall. Had they already, uh, submitted a work comp claim? No. They came to me and said that they are going to submit a workman’s comp claim because they got injured.

And I said to them, um, no, no you’re not. And they said, yeah, I am. I fell, I hurt myself. And I said, well, I got video footage of you, um, faking a fall. I’ve got, I mean, I’ve got a video footage of you faking a fall. You didn’t actually fall. And I’ve got video footage of it and uh, it’s not going to be good for you. No, no. That’s insurance fraud. It is interesting. Yeah. And that’s the thing where you might go to jail for that kind of thing, buddy. That’s a felony. So I pointed out to them like, that is not, um, something you’re going do, but, but you got to play hardball. And Jason, I think people don’t want to play hardball. I think people don’t want to ever do these things because they don’t want to, like, they don’t want to work.

I think people don’t want to see mean. Yeah. I think half the people who heard this show right now are going, dude, that’s terrible. I mean, don’t you think the vast majority of people, I’m not our longtime listeners, but new listeners might go that you’re terrible. Oh, absolutely. And that’s the biggest problem I’ve learned with helping my business coach clients who are trying to be better managers, is they want so much to be liked by their employees. They want constant approval and they want to be buddies. Well then of course when that happens, you get a septic employee like this who’s going to completely infect your entire business. It’s going to happen to you. I’m just telling you, if you’re out there today and you feel like you’re stuck with a toxic employee, that is the tip. That’s the moves. That’s the step. And that’s how you fire that person and that’s how you deal with it.

So even if you do all the things we told you, and you go in with a great emotional state and you follow these six steps of, start with report, one to build the needs on, establish the printed agenda. Basically the syllabus three, go over what needs to be done for deciding who needs to do it. Five, ask, answer any questions, and six, repeat what needs to be done. Even if you do all those steps, if you have a toxic employee who rolls their eyes in the meetings, who’s yawning in the meetings, who’s negative, it ruins the whole atmosphere and get them out of your office as soon as possible. And now that he further ado, we’d like to end each and every show in the boom. So here we go. Three, two, one.


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