Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Meeting parameters

Mark Twain once said, “There are two kinds of people—those who think there are two kinds of people and those who don’t.” But in this case, the two kinds are those who like meetings and those who don’t.

Some people actually like sitting around a table and not working at their desk. Someone else usually has to talk. They can daydream or doodle on a pad.

Even people who hate speaking often can stand to run a meeting—usually other people will speak.

But meetings take a lot of productive time…how can you minimize waste?

Christine Tetreault, AZ Republic, Jan 29, 2012, says first—have an agenda. Send it out to everyone 48 hrs beforehand. This will contain the list of attendees, topics, how long each topic will be discussed, and who will take the lead on each.

Set a start and end time for the meeting so people can schedule their own time.

Keep people on point during the meeting. If someone takes over, thank them and ask for feedback from the others on what the overbearing person said.

Document everything. Send out the minutes.

Then follow up. How else will you know if the goals were met?

DO NOT: Invite everyone.

DO NOT: Schedule meetings at peak hours.

DO NOT: Have automatic meetings…only when needed.

Back in the day—I used to hate meetings. I would try to sum up and beat feet about half an hour in. Then I realized some people were perfectly happy to sit there and gaze around.

Of course, that was on days when no one was being ambushed by the Big Boss.

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