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Episode # 169   Roberts Rules Made Simple

About The Episode:

Today, Natalie Ledwell speaks with Susan Leahy from Roberts Rules Made Simple. Roberts Rules of Order is a lengthy guide to teach individuals the most effective way to hold meetings, and to make decisions in professional organizations. Roberts Rules of Order has been celebrated as a reliable tool for businesses to conduct meetings with proper etiquette, increase productivity and total participation. However, the book is often criticized as dense and complicated. That is why Susan has spent 15 years creating a business that aims to break down the material into much more enjoyable, manageable pieces. Susan teaches the main points of the book in a much simpler version to board members and businesses across the country. Susan travels around the country and works, through an online platform, to encourage collaboration and organization efficiency with Roberts Rules Made Simple.

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Episode # 169 Roberts Rules Made Simple

Natalie: Today on the show I'm speaking with Susan Leahy from Roberts Rules Made Simple who talks about how to make your meetings meaningful and productive. So, stay tuned.

Natalie: Hi I'm Natalie Ledwell and this is The Inspiration Show. And today my special guest is Susan Leahy. How are you Susan?

Susan: Hi Natalie I'm great, thank you.

Natalie: It's so awesome to have you here. Now, Susan has an awesome story about how you can take something that you just don't think is gonna be your calling and make a fantastic living out of it and do something that you love. So, what we might do is to start with your background and your story and what it is that you do.

Susan: Well I can tell you that everybody looking at me right now would have no clue what it is that I really do. And I have a very interesting story because it's the sense that it's about bringing what people have to do and making it fun for people to do. A lot of people joined boards, get involved in organizations, one that really transformed, experience changed and their center of the universe. And in order to do that we end up as human beings going into a room and we have meetings. And the reality is that a lot of those meetings aren't very efficient and we ended up wasting a lot of our time, a lot of our energy. And so, I really go in and I help organizations and people understand how to run meetings effectively. Now, I don't just do that by talking about meetings, I used a very specific tool and that tool is called Roberts Rules of Orders. Have you ever heard of Roberts Rules of Order Natalie?

Natalie: No, I haven't but I think it's because I'm Australian perhaps, I think maybe it's a US thing.

Susan: Well there's actually a lot of Australians that use Roberts, it's all over the world actually. We actually just had our first Australian customer when we were down there. So boards use Roberts Rules of Order in order to run their meetings more effectively. Let me just show you I've got the book right here. Roberts Rules of Order is actually a book and its 700 pages long and it is boring. It is very complicated, it's very dense and 99.9 percent of the organizations that I worked with, they don't need this level of detail but they need to use the essence of Roberts. How to really run a meeting to keep things on track? And you know, I think people sometimes think the details are boring but unfortunately when human beings come together and we learn how to really communicate, to innovate and affect change, we have to have some ground rules around how we're gonna communicate. You have ground rules in your relationships; you gotta have ground rules in your meetings and Roberts 9 times out of 10 really is the parliamentary authority that a lot of boards use.

Natalie: Exactly. And the thing is you know what's really interesting and I find you know, it's always find threads like it's a neutral series of events that gets you from you know like with us, you know with mind movies. We're going on a completely different type of business and then we're gonna introduce mind movies but if we haven't been in this business and we would never been introduced to this, never met Ryan and you know. So, can you just go through cause I know that series of events that got you from nothing to doing this was very interesting. Susan: Right. Well I am a professional speaker and what I do it's everything that's connected in my world, it's all through the eyes of communication, I mean in a personal communication specialist and Roberts happen to just be another communication tool that I'm really good at teaching. And there's a huge need for it. People, who chair meetings, are part of boards, they need Roberts and they can't find an accessible way to really learn this stuff, a way that's fun you know and I really kind of been able to provide that. Now my journey to this has been interesting. I actually, back when I was in high school, going back a few years, I was part of an organization called FFA, Future Farmers of America. And yes I've tasked through pigs and the horn dogs. So my past is rich. But in that organization they actually had these competitions about Roberts Rules of Order and running meetings. And I'm gonna tell you, I know it sounds silly but they were the most intense competitions I ever competed in. And I was a runner and I did public speaking and I was the you know the head of my this, the head of, my gosh these competitions were scary and I didn't realized what I was learning at that very young age. And it has become such an essential tool in how I interact in the world and really now what I'm doing to help boards transformed the amount of work that are actually getting done.

Natalie: Yeah. Exactly. So how do you get from, I mean I look at that book and I'm exhausted just looking at it cause I'm thinking how on earth do you decipher all of that and get it into like a format that's easy for people to follow and its fun.

Susan: Well I think like anything else when you've been in enough meetings or you've been in enough situations you can start pulling out rhythms, you can start seeing patterns. And for me, I've attended thousands of meetings and the one thing that I've seen is that there really are only, what I have called them, what I teach, the Seven Fundamental Motions. So, in this entire book, there's really only seven motions that you need to understand and your board members need to collectively choose to understand how to make and how to vote on that will really exponentially increase your effectiveness. And I just wanna say this Natalie, cause I really do think that who were speaking to, is that people want to affect positive change on this planet. And the way that we do, with the way we do that, is our ability to really run great meetings. And whether those meetings are formal or informal you have to have an agreed upon decision making process. And so that's really what I'm excited about with Roberts is that once you understand the stuff formally, you can apply it informally in any space of your life. You know my husband and I were out on a walk the other day and you know we run a business much like you and Glenn. And I looked at hair lights started kind of spouting of about something that I wanted to talk about related to the business and here its beautiful outside and the birds are chirping and we're trying to have a little you know quality time together. My husband turns to me and he says "You know I moved to postpone this to our next meeting which will be when we get back to the office". And I simply looked at him and I said "Well, I second that motion". And it was a beautiful way of him to say, you know using one of the motions to just let me know this is not the time or place that we need to talk about this right now. And so we found some fun, creative ways, and that's the only rated G one that I'll share that we've incorporates into our relationship.

Natalie: So what we're really talking about here is a really effective way to communicate. So what are some of the important things people should remember when they are trying to communicate especially if it's in a grief situation?

Susan: Well I think that the main thing is people need to understand that there's a real big difference between business and information. You know if you and I are sitting down and we're just having a casual conversation and I wanted to share with you about my day and you're sharing with me about your day. The way we handle information is a lot more loosy goosy, you know because it's just your opinion, your feelings, my feelings and they just kind of be together. But when we are really transitioning Natalie, trying to make a decision, that's when you have to have the structure, that's when you have to understand how we're gonna make a decision and that's what I have to understand how we're gonna make a decision so that we can communicate effectively and I think that's probably one of the biggest things in any kind of meeting is that we need to understand how to handle business and how to handle information and they're fundamentally different. You use Roberts Rule of Order when you're handling your business. You don't use Roberts when you're dealing with information items. It's just interesting to think about any conversation you're having, is this just an information item or is this a business item?

Natalie: Right. So who are the people that you worked with? What are some of the organizations that you worked with?

Susan: You know this has been amazing, my journey into really becoming the Roberts Rules of Order guru, really, I have to give thanks to my daughter, I used to travel around when I got pregnant with my first daughter, my first child, I have a boy and a girl. But I put everything I was doing online cause I was mainly working with universities at the time. But since I put things online, I'm now working with organizations all over the United States and Canada. And they ranged from republican organizations to land bowling associations. You know they range from democratic associations, so both sides of the poles. I just had the National Associations of Curling, you know Curling in Canada. There's such a variety of home owners association, condo boards and may I say, it's so sad because some of the most contentious boards on the planet, really exist in that space which should be more sacred and that's our home. And I don't wanna sound sappy but that does break my heart, home owners associations and condo boards are plague with bad meetings and neighbors are doing this instead of really kind of creating a harmonious community.

Natalie: Yeah. It's difficult isn't it? I think it's because, I supposed following is this some like with rabbits, is like you can have so many different types of personalities and regardless of your personality, you can actually work together to do what's come involved.

Susan: Right. What you just said I really don't think there's anything more beautiful on the planet when you can take the voices of the majority and the voices of the minority and put them at the same table, I mean you really hear me when I say this, I'm putting them on the same table and they have a space of neutral respect where I can vocalize and you can vocalize and from me and my mind that's where real collaboration and real innovation can actually start happening. It's not fun when you just got everybody who agrees, you know, or you have that bully, that just gonna bully everybody into doing it their way because eventually that creates resentment.

Natalie. Yeah, totally! And this is the new paradigm on that we're meeting into, one of you know abandons and collaboration and working together. And I think with something like that that you put together, it makes it so much easier for us to be able to, like you said, just you know different personalities, different walks of life that come together and really communicate effectively and be able to create some kind of productive result, you know from getting together.

Susan: And I really do believed that that's why I love what I'm doing, you know I tease when I talked to you about Roberts that's it's not just the sexy topic that I thought that I was gonna be talking about. But what excites me about it and why I've been doing this for 15 years, that's right 15 years, I am making a living at it is because of the new paradigm that your discussing, you know it's a sense of I don't just go out and teach people rules, it really is about opening up and getting people to get in touch with the philosophy of how do they want their inner actions to feel. When you walked out of a meeting, how should that meeting feel? It should feel good, you shouldn't feel drained, you shouldn't feel frustrated, you shouldn't feel as if you wasted your time. You know, you should feel as if you've contributed, you made a difference, you innovated, you were able to connect and that really is what humanity is, I think that's what this new paradigm is you know. And that's the juice for me Natalie that's why I'm excited about being able to work with individuals as well as boards to empower peoples individual voices so that they can show up, be more present and encourage everyone to be a part of the process, the decision making process cause that's where the power is.

Natalie: Absolutely. Susan thank you so much for joining me today. Like I said it's an unusual topic but I just think it's so important and now that you've been able to transfer your information online to make an access to everybody's fantastic. So where can we send people if they wanna find out more about your product and what you do?

Susan: Well I have to say that I really do believed that the individuals that you have the opportunity to work with are so perfectly aligned for this information because mind movies transforming your mind then manifests and getting involve in your communities and your living spaces and your gonna blend in to a meeting, you know there. So whether you're sharing it or not, I encourage you to go to my website, its You can actually sign up and get free 6 videos, their training videos on a variety of topics and probably one of the most important are the seven fundamental motions and I also had a chair meeting with confidence.

Natalie: Awesome. So that's

Susan: Yeah. Absolutely!

Natalie: And guys if you just click in the banner to the side there you go straight to Susan's website from there. So thanks again for joining me Susan. It's great to see you again.

Susan: Thanks, Natalie.

Natalie: Now guys I encourage you to share this video and the information in it. And you can do that by clicking the Facebook and Twitter share buttons above. And if you haven't done so already make sure that you put your e-mail on the box above there. I'd love to send you my Manifesting with the Masters video Echoes, its got masters like Bob Proctor, John Assaraf, Joe Vitale, its valued 87 dollars but I'd like to give it to you for free. So make sure that you put your e-mail on the box above there to get that. So until next time remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We'll see you soon.

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