Straight To Target Meetings

Updated: Mar 23

“People take forever, I mean forever, to get to the point!”

“Our leaders waste a lot of our time just dumping data on us without telling us what to do with it.”

"I have five Zoom calls back-to-back. I'd give anything for a presenter who is prepared, direct, and brief!"

The comments from a lively opening discussion about the pitfalls of online meetings emerged with eye rolls, shrugs, and hands folded in prayer from the nine participants on my Zoom screen. The Straight to Target Meetings workshop participants were eager to learn how to do something different from what they experienced so often.

A group of inquisitive faces from around the world greeted the TAI team and me as we logged on for our virtual workshop. Calling in from their home offices in Chicago, London, Helsinki, and Moscow, these colleagues gathered for a ninety-minute power overhaul about leading meetings online. Together, we began to explore the central promise of the workshop, a set of simple tools leaders can use to transform data-heavy, unfocused meetings into ones that create absolute clarity, motivate real action, and achieve those results in half the time.

A simple set of tools can transform data-heavy, unfocused meetings into ones that create clarity and action.

A leader's behavior determines how quickly and thoroughly an audience will engage with their message. After a lively discussion of the behaviors a leader can exhibit that limit interaction, understanding, and purpose in an online meeting, I offered the participants several tools they could use immediately to bring structure and a pathway to action to their meetings.

Anna was the first to practice The Step with her peers. Using content she was about to present in a Zoom meeting with 30 participants, Anna moved from stating facts and giving assignments to painting a picture of the desired future state she saw for her team. The detail and specificity of the new reality she described helped her audience understand why the project mattered so much to her, and quickly they could begin to see their own roles in bringing the vision to life.

Specificity creates efficiency, energy and action.

For the next hour I watched as, one by one, the participants started to harness the Straight to Target tools in their own presentations. Learning from each person's experience as they were coached and absorbing the feedback they shared with one another, a new energy filled the room. Laura realized her impact by reducing a long and technically complex introduction to a powerful and direct single sentence. Jason transformed the long list of tasks he needed his team to complete into three short bullet points that invited his team to partner with him. Kara closed the workshop by describing the central conflict her group faced and the outcomes she envisioned when they found their way through it, a vision of success that included every audience member as a contributor.

“It was almost shocking how dramatically everyone improved in the second round of coaching, using just a few simple tools,” Anna offered in the closing discussion. They are simple tools and, when practiced and used consistently, they bring about significant shifts in the efficiency, effectiveness, and experience of meetings. When a leader takes the spotlight and shares a specific vision with clarity, specificity, and an invitation to be part of the journey, the dynamic between leader and team fundamentally changes. Leaders who use the simple tools from Straight to Target aim past extraneous data and generalized plans to the bullseye of what is critical for their team’s success.


Sam Carter is a Director and Coach at The TAI Group. His work centers on supporting leaders and their teams to create impact and influence for their companies in a digital world.

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