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:
- The 80/20 rule – ensuring all preparation is done in advance allows the meeting to focus on decision making and outcomes
- Connect with the participants beforehand explaining why they’ll be there and what’s expected of them before, during and after. Chunking information helps
- Ensure your meeting focuses on high priority discussion or it will be filled with low priority discussion
- Alternate the chair – allows you to focus on other meeting aspects and become an observer
- 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.
- Use WINs reports – Work in Progress, Issues, Next Week’s priorities. Helps keep a record and ensures team consistency.
- 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!