Are meetings the bane of your life? Too many, no obvious benefits or outcomes, too long, boring content? Do you feel elated when a meeting is cancelled? Here are some simple tips to make a big difference.
Have you realised that if you improve your meeting presence and effectiveness, it could improve your career. How so? You can gain respect and recognition for a start. You develop confidence by contributing to meetings. You learn structure and discipline, good listening and communication. You learn how to run a meeting, lead a discussion, set goals and outcomes, make things happen. Most importantly be noticed.
But in addition it is good grounding for interviewing skills!! Yes that’s right interviewing. So first read the MEETING MUST DO’s and then if you are interested look out for the next article on Interviewing Essentials.
How to run a productive meeting and how to contribute.
7 MEETING MUST DO’s
- Think of them as time savers not time wasters. Change your attitude and approach. Stop thinking of them as a necessary evil. Go with the view to being present in the moment. Avoid floating off into your own mind space, rather contribute, assist with decisions, and offer your expertise. Gain more confidence in speaking up. This will make it far more engaging for you and the time will fly. Attendees at the meeting are receiving the same information at the same time. It avoids repetitious communications.
- Run meetings at a regular time. Whether it is weekly or monthly, make sure you have committed calendars ahead and that you are not constantly changing the day and time to suit others. It sends the message that this meeting is not important.
- An agenda. A meeting without an agenda is like going to the airport not knowing which country you are flying out to. Provide the agenda to the other participants before the meeting. It encourages preparation and avoids wasted time. It improves efficiencies as you can estimate how much time might be needed per topic. Or at the beginning of the meeting this can be clarified with the priorities of the group.
- Rules of engagement. Start on time and finish on time. With this as a non-negotiable, soon the efficiency of your meetings will improve. Facilitate buy in from the group regarding use of technology. Phones off? Be present, healthy debate, no dominance by one or two strong opinions.
- Check your Attitude. Whether you are running the meeting or attending as a participant, set the example by fulfilling your commitments and encourage others to do the same.
- SMART GOALS. Use a structure or template to assist with follow up actions. Most people are aware of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound Goals but often miss out on committing to the time-frame or the measure.
- Wrap up meeting and commit to follow up. This needs to be done with absolute clarity and agreement around next steps, the actions, the measures, who is responsible and by when. People need to be accountable to the actions and timelines set by the group.