Managing Meeting Madness

Meetings. We can’t avoid them. They soak up most of our day, yet too often they’re not effective.

Some of us spend our day managing meeting madness; attending one unproductive meeting after the other.

But it doesn’t need to be this way.

By learning to prepare, pre-position and plan your meetings the productivity of yourself and your attendees can be significantly increased.

Unproductive meetings result when the participants are either:

  • Ignorant: don’t know why they’re there
  • Arrogant: don’t care why they‘re there
  • Alienated: don’t “show” (they might be there in body only)

For any meeting to be successful and productive, the participants need to be:

  • Informed: know why they’re there
  • Included: play a role in the meeting and outcomes
  • Inspired: own the meeting outcomes and outputs

So how can this be achieved?

Here are some starters:

  1. The 80/20 rule – ensuring all preparation is done in advance allows the meeting to focus on decision making and outcomes
  2. Connect with the participants beforehand explaining why they’ll be there and what’s expected of them before, during and after. Chunking information helps
  3. Ensure your meeting focuses on high priority discussion or it will be filled with low priority discussion
  4. Alternate the chair – allows you to focus on other meeting aspects and become an observer
  5. Cross-pollinate from other teams – invite others to your meetings and hear their observations and what works. Have your participants attend other meetings and report back. Success is built on success.
  6. Use WINs reports – Work in Progress, Issues, Next Week’s priorities. Helps keep a record and ensures team consistency.
  7. Embrace Emotional Intelligence – learn it and role model being self aware, self-managed, socially-aware and relationship-focused

Following these simple guidelines will ensure that your meetings are productive and effective. Who knows, they might even become a place where creativity, innovation and fun flourish.

Now that’s an interesting idea!

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