I am sure you heard the one about meetings?
“Are you lonely?
– Work on your own?
– Hate having to make decisions?
– Rather talk about it than do it?
Well, why not hold a meeting?
– You get to see other people
– You can sleep in peace
– Offload decisions
– Learn to write volumes of meaningless rhetoric
– Feel important
– Impress (or bore) your colleagues
And all in work time!”
But of course, it doesn’t have to be like that.
Are Meetings A Waste Of Time?
Why they cause frustration:
• Too many of them
• No real purpose
• Too long
• Platform for the talkative
• Few decisions come out of them
• Make straightforward issues complicated
• Often slow things down
The Potential benefits
Run properly they can be an effective means of:
• Communication to a group
• Meeting people face-to-face
• Improving the quality of decisions
• Getting to know people
• Drawing from a variety of different experiences
• Building teams
Some Tips To Ensure A Successful Meeting:
? Only hold meetings if they are really necessary
? Could people be told any other way?
? Consider the cost; meetings aren’t cheap – time away from job, salaries of those attending.
? If they are needed, then plan for them
? What do you want to achieve?
? What are you going to discuss?
? What decisions will need to be made/actions taken?
? Who needs to be there? How are you going to tell them what it’s about and why they are invited?
? How long can you allocate to the meeting?
Remember, if you fail to prepare, then prepare for your meeting to fail.
? Prepare an agenda
? Include only relevant items
? Put them in order of importance
? Decide who will lead the input on each
? Allocate time for each item (don’t forget to allow for a 5 minute break at least once an hour)
? What could go wrong and what will you do?
? Collect all information
? If it’s lengthy, summarise it, outlining key points
? Send out agendas and key points in advance
? Prepare the room
? Ensure that there are sufficient tables and charts
? If you want equipment (eg: flip charts, overhead projectors) make sure it is available and working
? Arrange refreshments
And Finally: Running The Meeting:
Achieve faster, more efficient results by:
? Telling everyone the purpose
? Setting the scene for each item, eg: open discussion by inviting specific contributions from those present
? Letting everyone who has something to say make a contribution
? Summarising what’s been said
? Watching for signs of non-participation
? Sticking to time (always start on time and don’t be afraid to finish early)
? Agreeing actions to follow
? Not being afraid to critique the meeting, i.e.:
– Was it worth it?
After the meeting:
? Circulating minutes promptly to those attending and interested parties
? Monitoring and reviewing progress of any actions decided
End Result? A Successful Meeting And All In Work Time!
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