• Goran Yerkovich

Before Game of Thrones, Croatia Invented Quarantine + 10 Under Utilized Tactics To Host a Meeting



This may come as a big surprise to some of you, but back in the 14th Century Croatia invented quarantine, when a merchant vessel from China entered a Croatian port during the Black Plague, and the sailers were refused entry to Croatian soil. This meant the Chinese crew remained on ship, as the story goes, for 40 days, until the Croatians were certain that no one on board would give them the Black Death. And so quarantine was born.


In full disclosure my background is Croatian. My extended family is Croatian. All my cousins are Croatian.


So this means this story will be read by my cousins in a few days time, and then, because Croatians know national pride like no other, this story will be forwarded a thousand times over, eventually landing on a local musicians desk. That musician will then write an epic Croatian folk-rock song with a beautiful woman in the background dancing near the ocean, with seagulls flying overhead. The lyrics will include how they were the first to invent quarantine, and will probably add something about how ridiculously beautiful Croatia is. If you haven't been, and you don't have COVID-19, then definitely go visit.


Now that this bombshell announcement is complete, a few sources for your reference for those in doubt on the Croatian quarantine claim:


I first learned of this by Dr Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D on a recent broadcast on the Joe Rogan Show podcast and more recently found a secondary source from UK's timeout magazine.



Back then, as mentioned, this was a great tactic to prevent the spread of germs and viruses, and was also likely an early 14th century approach to postponing a meeting that you just weren't ready for.


Because like the Black Plague, or COVID-19, meetings can be stressful and give us a lot of anxiety.


But unlike these viruses, meetings must go on.


And virtual tools now allow us to still meet even when there is a pandemic. Thank you virtual tools ...not.


Note: This photo below has nothing to do with meetings, but it is a beach in Croatia on the island of Brac


Remote Worker Meetings Can't Count on Quarantine Delays

Unfortunately today we can't throw our boss or team into quarantine because they're already in quarantine, thanks to social distancing.


And no thanks to video conferencing, living through a pandemic means the meetings must go on. So let's dive into a few top yet misunderstood tactics that will help ensure your meeting goes exceptionally well...


But, before we start, here's a little bit me, and why this is relevant before we continue.


For those of you who don't know me personally, one of my strongest skills is presenting, hosting and facilitating meetings in front of large audiences.


I'm not talking Obama inauguration or Ted Talks size, but the more normal 5-10, 20, or even 30-50 sized meetings.


These are the meetings, for those of us in the business world, which help companies coordinate, strategize, align, and resolve our business problems.


Now the important part...



TIP: You Can Host a Great Meeting, Even If You're Shy or Introverted


My facilitation skills took time to develop, which may not surprise you. But what many people don't know about me, is that as a child I was literally scared of everything. Yes everything: dogs, cats, people, conversations, plants, and probably lamps too. And until around the age of 9 or 10, I had a slight stutter.


I grew up shy and introverted.


But now today, my meeting skills are so strong that I come across as naturally extroverted, when it's needed. Over time I've developed my meeting skills and my self-confidence.


We won't get into all that here, but this is just to point out that if I can host a great meeting then you can too.


So how is it done?


The last twist in this story is this - Some of the most crucial yet under utilized tools and tactics in the Art of Hosting a Great Meeting and killing those nerves before they get started, actually has nothing to do with the meeting itself.


A few do tactics do, but most of them do not... so let's begin.



10 Under Utilized Tactics To Host a Great Meeting


This list is not what you'd normally expect for tips on hosting a great meeting, because being a great facilitator today, means doing things right the day before. Just like any athlete, you need the right habits and tactics in place long before the actual race.



1. Drink, Dinner, Sleep - Don't drink the night before you have a big meeting. And eat a healthy dinner too. No snacking after either. All of these things will impact the most important thing you can do before an important meeting, and that's get a great nights sleep. Remember: Your Superpower is Sleep


2. Breakfast and Lunch. Eating a healthy well balanced breakfast of protein, carbs, fats and not too much sugar is all part of having a great day. Some of you may be intermittent fasting, but I'd recommend against this on the days you have to be your best. Your body needs to be well nourished a few hours before a meeting if you want everything working optimally.


3. Avoid Coffee. If you're someone who feel anxiety throughout your workday already, coffee is not going to help. And it may cause the jitters before or during the meeting if you've had a cup or two or three.