John Poelstra

Bringing order to chaos and clarity to confusion



Using People Maps to Understand Your Project (029)

One of my favorite moments as a project manager was when two people told me it was impossible to draw a picture of all the people working the project. Here’s how I did it.

How to Succeed as a Remote Worker (019)

Paul Frields joins the podcast to talk about working remotely and what it takes to succeed. John and Paul also discuss some of the misconceptions about remote work and how to overcome them.

Talking Red Hat, Meetings and Music with Paul Frields (018)

In this wide-ranging conversation, John and guest Paul Frields, talk about working at Red Hat, how they got started with collaborative meeting minutes and Paul’s love of playing the bass.

How to Handle Dominant People at Meetings (017)

This episode explores some techniques for facilitating meetings with stronger personalities or those that dominate the discussion too much.

What is Good Listening? (014)

This episode explores the topic of listening through the Co-Active coaching model and an article from Harvard Business Review.

Some of My Favorite Things (013)

This episode is a collection of some of my favorite things. It was inspired by some similar things I shared in a recent podcast interview on “How to be Awesome at your Job.”

Collaborative Meeting Minutes: Listener Questions and Feedback (012)

This episode responds to listener questions and feedback from two previous episodes around how to collaboratively create meeting minutes and how a central mailing list repository for meeting minutes works.

What’s Your Criteria? (010)

This episode explores the benefits for setting and agreeing to criteria before making decisions.

Avoiding the Dreaded Meeting Roll Call (008)

In this episode I share a super easy way to take attendance at meetings–don’t! Instead have attendees take do their own check-in by adding themselves to the minutes (in a shared document). Then you can skip asking “who just joined?” twenty-five times.

How to Invite the Right People to Your Meetings (007)

This episode examines the process I use and suggest to decide who to invite to specific meetings.

Status Meeting Morass (006)

In this episode of the podcast my friend Charlie and I talk about the frustration of status meetings. Do you like status meetings?

Avoiding Energy Drain from Meetings (003)

This episode is a conversation with my friend Charlie about how meetings drain our energy and what we can do to minimize it.

Dealing with Worry at Software Project Meetings (002)

Here are my thoughts and experiences on how to deal with worries (without solutions) introduced at software project meetings.

Why I Love Facilitating Meetings

I recently told Mike Vardy over at the Productivityist how much I love facilitating project meetings and he told me I had a to write a blog post about it. It hadn’t occurred to me how unusual I might be… Continue Reading →

Don’t Honor My Time by Talking About It

One phrase I want to drop from my vocabulary is the trite and over-used term often thrown around at the beginning of meetings by a host or facilitator who says they “want to honor everyone’s time.” One big way to… Continue Reading →

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