VIDEO BOOK REVIEW: The Non-Obvious Guide to Magical Meetings by Douglas Ferguson & John Fitch

Magical Meetings

About The Non-Obvious Guide to Magical Meetings (from Amazon):

An unusual and irreverent guide to transforming your meetings from time-sucking interruptions to productive moments of collaboration – whether your team is together or virtual.

What if meetings could be the high point of collaboration in your day, instead of the usual time-sucking soul-draining experience they often become?

In this guide, expert facilitators Douglas Ferguson and John Fitch tackle the myth that the most effective way to get more out of meetings is to just avoid having them or to have less of them. In a well-run organization, meetings should actually be integral to getting sh*t done.

Meetings are the secret underappreciated weapon that businesses are using badly. And why do they use them so badly? Because no one has been taught how to make them better. In this guide, you will learn:

  • What if having an agenda has no effect on whether you have a great meeting?
  • What happens when you actually do the work in the meeting?
  • What are the five common elements of every meeting that sucks, and how do you avoid them?

Douglas and John show you how to adopt and adapt the non-obvious Meeting Mantras they developed at their company, Voltage Control. Their methods have helped companies and teams transform the perception of meetings from “going to the dentist” (ie – something you have to do but hate) into something you can’t wait for – like a rock concert or great dinner.

My Video Book Review:



Welcome to another video book review. This week we are looking at Magical Meetings, or the official title is The Non-Obvious Guide to Magical Meetings by Douglas Ferguson and John Fitch.

So Douglas Ferguson, one of the authors, actually led a session at the running remote conference that I went to in May in Montreal. And it was, it was great. We actually, you know, you go to presentations back to back for two straight days, and this was the last one I went to. You’re kind of over it at that point, like a lot of information. You’ve just like been overwhelmed with all of this great stuff. And his session was different, and it stood out to me.

So his session was called Troika and it was interactive. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Troika. I had never heard of it before, but Troika is a group of three people working together, and that’s what he had us do. So he had us get into these groups of three people. One person described to the other two a problem that they had, and then he had the person with the problem turn around where they couldn’t see the other people and impact them in any way, like facial expressions or anything.

And the other two discussed the problem and came up with the solution and then presented it to the first person kind of like as consultants telling them here’s what you should do. They also did get a chance to ask clarifying questions during the session. So after all of that, the person with the problem wrote down on a piece of paper the one thing they were going to do to move towards a solution to the problem.

It was a really great way to get people to kind of remove themselves from the problem and think through a way that they could actually proactively solve the problem. Douglas gave out a few copies of his book while we were there, but I didn’t grab one. I saw that it was free on Kindle Unlimited, so I downloaded it when I got home and had to read it right away.

While I was reading it, I took tons of notes and just came up with so many great ideas for ways that I could better facilitate the meetings that I’m involved in and the meetings that I lead. One of the quotes that I highlighted is:

A good meeting stays on, task, ends on time, and reaches its objective by the end. A great meeting creates a sense of flow, the positive mental state of being completely absorbed by, focused on and involved in your activities at a certain point in time, as well as deriving enjoyment from being engaged in that activity.

If you attend meetings, which all of us do, and especially if you facilitate meetings, this book is a must read.

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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