• Rebekah Wadsworth

Monitoring vs. Mentoring in Meetings

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

With all the adjustments going on in businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have wondered how meetings have been affected, both the time spent daily in meetings, and the quality of those meetings.

After conducting a survey with 473 professional sellers, we found that 47% of those respondents said that the time they spend in meetings has increased, while 35% said the time was roughly the same. 18% said that their time spent in meetings has decreased.

With a nearly 50% increase in meetings, we were left to wonder what all the meetings were about. How was the time in those meetings spent? We asked about time spent on several different topics, and then narrowed all those topics down to two main categories: mentoring and monitoring. Mentoring topics included training, counseling, team well-being, etc. While monitoring topics included planning, reporting, goals/targets/deadlines, etc.

According to our results, a whopping 71% of meeting time was spent in monitoring topics, while a scant 3% was spent mentoring the employees. 26% remained unaccounted for.

We took this data to Bret Skousen, a sales professional of many years, to hear his input on these numbers. “If you’re a sales force, you’re paid to sell, not sit in meetings,” he said. Sales leaders should be monitoring their employees through technology systems designed for this very thing. Meeting time should focus on mentoring the employees. “Monitoring should be a lot less time because of technology, because of other ways we can get that done,” said Skousen.

Skousen also points out that this situation is putting younger sales teams in a position that they have not been in before, that is working remotely. They need the support of their sales leader. “But”, he says, “when we monitor too hard, that is focusing on the negative.” He encourages sales leaders to focus on the positive, focus on how to get sales teams to a place, or a goal, rather than focusing on what they are not doing.

After our conversation with Skousen, our takeaway was that more of meeting times should be spent supporting your sales team and mentoring them. Leave the monitoring to technology.

Check out our podcast of the interview with Bret Skousen here.

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