Transforming Your Meeting Culture with J. Elise Keith

In today’s episode of Live with Bottleneck, our guest J. Elise Keith shares with us her ideas and strategies on running fun and engaging meetings. She also talks about how you as a company can generate positive company culture and the ways to do it.

J. Elise Keith is the founder and CEO of Lucid Meetings, the author of “Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization”, and regular contributor for Inc. and other publications.

So if you’re interested in breaking through the Bottleneck of your business, stay tuned to this episode.

Lucid Meetings

J. Elise Keith shares the origin of Lucid Meetings, which started out as a software company. They recognize the issue of disengagement in meetings, and sought to create a software to help. The software keeps tracks of the things discussed in the meeting, like assigned tasks or new projects in the pipeline, so it will be easier to do later on.

What they found out after rolling it out was that it wasn’t as effective as they would’ve thought. Sure it functioned well as a tool, but it didn’t really address the initial problem to begin with. The problem was how to engage other people in the company to contribute in such meetings, and not just be a fly in the wall, so to speak.

“As you pointed out in the intro, what we learned is that it really is about the culture. It’s about how do you create a place where people recognize the opportunity that their meetings are and show up and play as a team. Because you know, this isn’t a spectator sport. This isn’t a “sit back and judge”. This is a “get in there and make it happen” kind of activity. So what do you do to make that happen?” – J. Elise Keith

J. Elise Keith and Her AHA Moment

J. Elise Keith then talks about her past experience in the corporate world. She used to be in the organization that sets standards on how things will be: from the size of certain products, to the function they would provide. In order to have such standards in place, they need to meet with various companies, some of which are direct competitors of each other. Yet they come together, discuss how things will be, and come to a solution despite all that.

You might be wondering; how do they do all that? In the end, it all comes down to having properly-structured meetings. Setting the rules on who gets to talk first, and having a clear structure on how things will give everyone the chance to play. That equal opportunity can be a powerful motivator for people, and in this case companies, the motivation to speak up.

“I asked, “How are they doing this?” What I discovered is they have these very structured and clear way of running their meetings. “How do we surface the issues?” or “what order do we do it in who talks?” What they do is they make it super clear, and when the rules of the game are clear, everybody can play.” – J. Elise Keith

Yet back in the corporate world, where everyone is playing for the same company, they can’t seem to agree on anything. Or worse, sometimes the other people in the meeting are very passive and non-responsive.

The biggest difference between the two is that there are no defined rules of engagement on the latter one, which lead to disorganization and less involvement from others. Because first and foremost, they do not know how their statements will be taken into account.

When Elise noticed this, she knew that this was something that they could focus on.

To hear more from J. Elise Keith and how to make your meetings engaging and productive, continue listening to this episode.


J. Elise Keith is the founder and CEO of Lucid Meetings, the author of “Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization”, and regular contributor for Inc. and other publications. Lucid Meetings helps thousands of teams worldwide run successful meetings every day. In 2020, Lucid Meetings was recognized as one of the top-10 global influencer brands on the topic of remote work and virtual meetings.

Connect with J. Elise Keith


LinkedIn: in/EliseKeith

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Jaime Jay

About Jaime Jay

Meet Jaime Jay – a man who wears many hats, and wears them all admirably. He's a master connector, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and a published author who knows how to get things done.

Before he found his way to the business world, Jaime served his country as a brave paratrooper in the U.S. Army. But that's just the beginning of his many accomplishments.

He's the founder of the renowned Bottleneck Distant Assistant Services firm, and his book "Quit Repeating Yourself" has become a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere.

When he's not busy building his empire, you can find him on his beloved Harley Davidson, cruising through the countryside and taking in the invigorating effects of Uitwaaien – a Dutch practice that involves facing the wind to boost health and relieve stress.

He enjoys spending his free time outside building stuff with his wife, Nikita the dog and their two kittens (for now at least) Tommy and Tater.

He is ‘over-the-moon’ happily married to his wonderful wife Sara, his amazing daughter, Jessica, who is serving our country as a United States Army soldier. Jaime and Sara are the proud grand parents of two beautiful little girls.


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