We can hear the groan now across our section of the east coast. â€śThere is a meeting at three in the conference room; be there!â€ť Your whole day shifts to meeting preparation mode. But in this case you do not know the agenda. You do not know the purpose. You do not even know who else is invited. Does this sound unusual or does it sound typical?
There are probably more meetings in our part of Dale Carnegie country than anywhere else on earth. Just in DC Metro alone there are meetings 24-7. But it can come at a cost in both time and money.
Meetings are a great source of information and a huge benefit for the organizations that schedule them correctly. They are the bane to everyone when they are scheduled carelessly.
The best meetings have these points in mind:
- Is there really the need for the meeting at all? Many meetings should never happen. Does that every Friday at 9 oâ€™clock meeting really need to happen? Most of them are schedules out of habit and not out of purpose.
- Are people on time? No shows and late shows disturb the agenda and the continuity of every meeting. Start every meeting on time with a full house.
- Does the meeting end on time? A timekeeper is truly a necessity in every meeting. Agendas thrive in time limits. Â
- How do you play catch up with late arrivals? Make that first break the â€śmake upâ€ť break. The five to 10 minutes needed to get everyone up to speed will help the rest of the meeting be more productive.
- Do you have a set agenda? Just as you cannot leave for a trip without a map, you cannot have a meeting without a definable purpose.
- Do you go from specific (important) to the general (less important) in item discussion? Getting the most important items discussed first will help with meeting success.
- Do you have a memory? Have a note taker document the discussion and have it sent to the participantâ€™s e-mail within 48 hours.
Sometimes when meetings are done right, incredible things take place. We can be all a part of something special when it is an effective and productive opportunity for everyone.
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