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Run Meetings Confidently

Effectively run meetings enable managers to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, with the added benefit of group involvement and buy-in.

This article highlights a few things to consider as you prepare to confidently run your meeting.

Running meetings can be time-consuming if they lack focus, the right members, or effective facilitation tools.

On the other hand, they can also be an extremely efficient way to get things done quickly, to support building a team environment, and to enable collaboration among key people to produce a better outcome than possible working independently.

If you are responsible for running meetings, and aren’t quite sure how best to go about creating an effective meeting experience, you’ll be glad you found this article.

Following are a few key steps to successful meeting management.

Attending to each of these steps will enable you to repeatedly create a well-organized productive experience, and therefore build your confidence that you can run effective meetings.

1. Meet with a purpose

If you ask most people, they have been to one too many meetings that seemed (whether or not accurately so) to have no purpose.

Be sure to call a meeting only if you have a clear reason for doing so.

It doesn’t matter what your reason might be.

If you need information from the group, set a clear agenda with key questions ahead of time.

If you want to share information, draft an outline of your key points. If you just want to get the team together to allow for bonding time, then organize it so that an interactive environment will be facilitated (order pizza, etc.)

2. Communicate your purpose/agenda

So, you know why you’re meeting—great!

Now, tell everyone else why you are! Be sure to let all attendees know how long the meeting will be, where it will be, and what information is to be covered.

Be sure to let them also know what the goal of the meeting is—what deliverables, outcomes, etc. are expected so they can come prepared.

Just because you’ve called the meeting doesn’t mean you’re the only one who has to do the talking.

Enable them to participate—sharing relevant information ahead of time, will ensure they come prepared to contribute, and take the spotlight off of you at the same time!

3.Supporting materials

Come prepared with the appropriate supporting materials.

If this is an information gathering session, bring forms or tools for completion. Presentation? Bring slides/handouts, etc.

Whatever will support communication of your key points, gathering of the required information, or structuring of the discussion should be included to create a stronger sense that everyone’s time is being well spent.

4. Everyone present for a purpose

Please ensure that every single individual invited to the meeting is there for a reason. And, more importantly, that each attendee clearly understands his/her specific role.

When planning your meeting consider team members’ roles.

How can they contribute?

Do they have key information, skills, experience that you can leverage in the meeting?

Help them feel useful by letting them know the important role you’d like them to play.

Also helpful in running effective meetings, is to assign meeting management roles before you begin the meetings. Some specific meeting facilitation roles might include:

Scribe: to record key information, and meeting minutes

Flipchart recorder: to capture key points, questions visually on flipcharts

Timekeeper: to help keep to the agenda

“Devil’s advocate”: should the group tend to always passively agree to all suggestions, it might be helpful (and fun) to assign someone to play devil’s advocate purely for the purpose of creating creative debate and discussion.

5. Outcomes/agreements captured and reviewed

Before you end the meeting, review the agreed upon action items, along with the responsible parties for each item as discussed during the meeting.

If you’ve assigned meeting scribes or flipchart recorders, then this step should be relatively simple.

6. Next steps defined

Discuss roundabout timeframes for completion of action items, and also make sure to review next steps.

Set expectations now for a follow-up meeting, should one be required.

Let everyone know what you anticipate will need to be covered in the next meeting.

7. Show your appreciation

Every single person’s time is precious.

So, be sure to thank them for their participation and contributions. Motivate key participants by letting them know after the meeting just how helpful their contributions were during the meeting.

This will help to ensure that next time you need to have a meeting, you’ll find willing participants ready to go.

8. Reflect on your process

Identify what went well, and what didn’t.

Learn from your experience and find ways to improve as you move forward. Don’t forget to seek support from your Human Resources Training group should you be interested in building your facilitation skills.

Following these 8 steps will ensure that with practice, you will be effectively, and smoothly running meetings—with confidence!

20 ways to increase your confidence

20 quick and practical methods to increase your confidence, here we go:

1. Think about someone who is confident and act, talk and walk like him or her. Model their mannerisms and behavior. It works for them; it will work for you.

2. Smile a lot more. That doesn’t mean putting a silly grin on your face! But smile when you walk down the street, when you meet people and generally be happier even if you’re not feeling that way.

3. Learn from the past; don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s gone; it’s never coming back. Instead learn from it for next time.

4. Buy yourself some new clothes, get your hair done, treat yourself to something new. It will make you feel better and will give your ego a boost.

5. Are you prepared for situations? Are you prepared enough to meet any challenge that may come up? Are you prepared for that meeting, that presentation, that job interview, when you meet someone for the first time? If not, get to it.

6. Play to your strengths. Know what you are good at and expose yourself to these opportunities at every opportunity – because you’re good at it, you’ll enjoy it and have more confidence.

7. Improve your weaknesses. Know and appreciate what these are and put a plan in place to improve them over time.

8. Learn how to say no to people. Don’t be afraid, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of. Just watch the reaction on their face after you’ve said it the first time and there will be no going back.

9. Be positive. Look on the “can do” side of things rather than the “can’t do”. You’ve accomplished lots in your life and you will accomplish lots more in the future.

10. Be in charge of your thoughts at all times. What is a thought? It’s just a question that you’ve asked yourself and the thought is you’re answer. If you’re thinking negative thoughts, you’re probably asking a negative question. Change the questions to be more positive.

11. Whenever you feel a negative thought coming, STOP, THINK, and say is this really important in the grand scheme of things. A lot of the time it isn’t. Many people in life major in minor things!

12. Do you let the words of others affect you? Do you mind what they think of you? Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. It’s not what they say to you that’s the problem it’s what you say to yourself after they have stopped talking that’s the problem. Change the way you think.

13. List the words that you use on a consistent basis when you feel let down or annoyed. People use different words to mean the same thing and depending upon the intensity of the word – this will have an effect on your confidence. Instead of saying “I’m enraged about this” say, “I’m a little annoyed”. Make a substitute list for the words that you use. Make sure they are lower in intensity and then use them. You’ll be surprised with the results.

14. At the end of each day list your achievements and successes throughout that day.

15. Be appreciative of what you have to be thankful for in your life right now. Who do you love? Who loves you? Who do you help out?

16. Every morning when you’re in the shower, play over in your head the events in the day as though they have already happened and they were a success. Visualize all of the meetings that you had, the people you talked to, the outcomes you had. Visualize success and confidence and it will be so.

17. Improve your body language. The way that you move your body has a massive impact on your confidence levels. Move your body assertively and walk with your head up, shoulders back and as though you’ve got somewhere very important to go. Feeling low in confidence? Change you body language

18. Emotion is created by motion. As in 17, make sure you move around consistently. This creates energy and gets the blood pumping around you body – it makes you feel better and more confident.

19. Learn to brag about yourself. Yes, you heard me! Talk about your achievements and successes more than you currently are.

20. And finally – You only live once, so any time that you are down just ask yourself in 10 or 20 years time – will what I am worrying about really matter?

Be the leader your life needs.

In any and every industry we look to leaders for guidance and experience. Leadership is essential to all aspects of life. In fact leadership allows organizations to adapt, evolve, and overcome barriers. You must be that leader in your own life. You must understand the importance of your direction, experience, and insight. But, how do we lead in our own lives? What are the essential leadership qualities that leaders use in organizations that you can use in your own life to make a difference in your future?Something was found in a research I conducted that has the ability to instantly change your life. A few years back I had the esteem honor of finishing my doctoral studies. During this time I had to complete an actual live research in which respondents answer questions. These questions were then tested and used to find variables as to how leaders become leaders.

First, let's dig into the research a bit so we can understand the full context around what was found. The research was about underrepresented leadership from minority backgrounds. It was an attempt to find what people from diverse backgrounds can do to become leaders in industries. But, what was found was traits, behaviors, and strategies that anyone can use from any background to succeed. I found 10 participants that are not leaders but wanted to be leaders and ten leaders. All the participants had the same educational background. Then I asked all twenty individuals the same questions.The leaders answers were then compared to the leaders answers to find trends. The same happened with the non-leaders where their answers were compared to each other to find trends .The trends of each group were then identified. These trends were then compared against each other from leaders to non leaders to see and understand what the leaders did in their careers that the non leaders have not done that helped the leaders. These questions included barriers, training, and many other factors. This then became some of the reasons as to how the minority leaders become leaders helping the underrepresentation. As a motivational and mindset coach I looked at the research to see what could I use to help me help the individuals I coach. One of the barriers stood out in a huge way that I use to coach others. This variable was called internal external vs external internal. I know it sounds a bit weird but it is one of the best ways to lead in your life. It is essential in changing your mindset for success.

Internal External VS External Internal

This variable of the research was formed from a summation of all the variables. It became very clear a difference existed between the leaders and non-leaders in this section. It was a trend that existed across the board. The leaders showed that they believed the barriers they faced on the way to becoming leaders in their professional careers came from internal forces. These were things they could control such as lack of education, lack of mentorship,and more.The trend showed that the barriers the leaders saw were things they could change. The answers or strategies to change these barriers are found externally. The leaders believed that to find answers or solutions you must go outside of yourself such as meet new people, learn new things and anything they have not experienced. The non-leaders were the exact opposite. The totality of their answers showed they believe the barriers that stop them are external or come from the outside. These are things that can't be controlled such as bosses stopping them or racism. The non leaders also showed that the answers or solutions laid within them. They believed that if they want to get an answer it must be something they already have like a skill or a relationship.

How does this help in life?

It helps because if you are to choose one of those strategies it would probably be best to choose what the leaders have done since they have been able to become leaders. When facing a barrier or something that is stopping you you should first look within. Understand, what you are doing or what you have done that has led to the barrier you face. I would not say blame yourself but understand what is your part in the barrier. It makes a lot of sense because we can only control our actions and are unable to control everything around us. If you focus on what you do or have control over then it is in your power to fix it. If you concentrate on stuff you do not control it would be impossible to fix it since you have no control. Finding solutions externally is a great way to fight barriers and overcome them. Think about it. We are where we are now because of who and what we already know. To evolve or go to the next level you must learn new things and meet new people. You must begin to learn things outside of what you know. 

Biologically built to succeed: How individuals and businesses can use biology to WIN.

by Dr. Julio C Caba

As a motivational speaker and mentor, I am always in search of finding explanations and reasons as to why our minds can control everything around us including our health. How is it that humans can attract what they want in life? Some concepts show that we can conjure up what we need such as the law of attraction. While true in some aspects as a researcher the concept that somehow magically we can speak things into reality bothered me as it is difficult to prove. But, I have beard witness in my personal experience that we do have the ability to get exactly what we ask for. So how is this possible and if we can speak it into existence why don’t we all get what we want? Why are some able to use this power and others are not? Well during my research phase of creating a speech for an event I stumbled upon some very valuable information for self-development. The fact that I found this information further proved the concept. We all know how the saying goes we do not know what we do not know. You see our mind is a powerful computer meant to process toons of information to help us as individuals survive the world around us. Our minds are biologically wired to succeed. I found the magic, well I didn't find it has been known for quite some time but understanding it is what makes the difference. The Reticular Activating System is yet more proof that humans and the power of the human mind are capable of getting everything we ask for in life. Have you ever noticed after you purchase a car it seems like everyone bought the same car? Or how about the superhuman power of noticing stuff that others do not? The Reticular Activating System or RAS is a network of nerves in the brain stem that awakes your brain when it senses something you want or needs according to your experience. In other words, it mediates your consciousness. So if your brain thinks it needs something it sees that it is crucial to you it hyper focuses your attention on that thing you need. It also regulates your sleep-wake transitions. Meaning that if you train this system to awake when a goal or opportunity is present that fits your purpose it will kick your brain into overdrive when these opportunities present itself. Assisting in focusing on what you consider success. It filters out what you do not need and allows you to focus on what you do need such as listening to one person in a crowd full of talking people. It also awakes your brain to learn new things which are vital to succeeding in anything you want. How do you train it?

Focus on your goals and the system will begin to awake your brain when things associated with this goal appear allowing you to find opportunities in everything. Meditation is a great way to accomplish this. Every night and every morning imagine the goal like a movie in your head. Play the Seen over and over as if you are there. This is a great way to train the system and get what you want out of life.

How can you use this in your organization?

Let’s face it if for an organizational leader this would be a key attribute for your employees to activate to complete the organizational mission. One suggestion would be marketing materials that would show the mission or goal in visuals. Yes, marketing material for your employees. We as organizational leaders assure we get marketing materials into the hands of potential clients but what if we target special marketing materials to the workforce so they can envision the great things in the organization such as the possibilities of mobility or the importance of their work etc. The first thing is to create a survey to gauge what the employee's end goal is in the organization or what do they want to accomplish in the organization. Then build marketing material or vision boards that are always around them so they can start constantly seeing and imagining these goals. This would be a great way to train there the Reticular Activating System to awaken when they see or sense things that move towards that goal. Training on the subject matter is crucial and teaching them what the Reticular Activating System does or how it can benefit them can allow them to consciously start to use it. As organizational leaders we must understand that the workforce is vital and using techniques that will enhance there awareness towards the organizational mission can translate into revenue. The moral of the story here is whether we are talking about an organization or an individual we are biologically hardwired to succeed. Imagination is crucial to training your self to succeed and see opportunity in all things. So train your Reticular Activating System and RAS on people.

Leadership: Adapting to a diverse workforce

by Dr. Julio C Caba


Leadership is an integral part of organizational success. It is the job and responsibility of a leader to assist the organization in carrying out and completing the organizational mission. This is especially true when organizations need to adapt to the business environment. Ethnic Minorities make up 30.7% of the U.S. workforce making it evident that adaptation to diversity is vital for organizations to compete in today’s markets (Shore, Cleveland, & Sanchez, 2017). Diversity has become a staple to our society and or organization for more than one reason. You see Diversity can mean many things and can encompass many dimensions. When we talk about diversity we tend to think about ethnicity and or race but the truth of the matter is diversity can mean many things especially in a workgroup. Research has shown that diversity has three dimensions and over twenty-five concepts within those dimensions (Rijamamplanina & Cambell, 2005). With beliefs, lifestyles ethnicity, workplace experience, and even feelings everyone within a workgroup can fall within a diverse category. So, what does this mean for an organization? It means that adaptation and learning how to lead a diverse workforce is crucial to the health of the organization. There are many strategies used to lead a diverse workforce including Diversity Management and inclusion. But for this blog post, the focus is on the leaders chosen to lead the diverse workforce. Using different leadership styles and theories can assist in the better adaptation of the diverse workforce. During years of diversity research, one leadership style has stood out as one of the best leadership styles to use when managing a diverse workforce. The Transformational leadership style by MacGregor burns (1978) and Bass (1985) has many characteristics that assist in leading a diverse workforce. The first and more important characteristic Transformational leadership uses is inclusion. Transformational leaders include employees in many if not all the aspects of the workplace. Including them in the decision-making process, idea development, and all other factors. This is important because inclusion has become one of the best tools in managing a diverse workforce. Another important characteristic of Transformational leadership is the behavior of the leader. In Transformational leadership, the leader puts aside his or her self-interest for the interest of the organization. This means even if a Transformational leader has resistance against diversity or does not believe in the benefits of diversity as long as the organizations mission is to be a more diverse organization the leader would support all initiatives because his or hers self-interest is not as important as the interest of the organization. Other characteristics that help include caring for the well being of employees, inspiring, and transforming the organization. This is just a few of the benefits of leading with a Transformational style. Understanding how to lead a diverse workforce can give an organization a competitive edge in today’s business environment. Allowing organizations to adapt to growing and diverse markets, assisting in serving said markets, and assisting in managing a growing diverse workforce.

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