Would it be rude to refuse to attend a meeting that didn’t have a written agenda and objective provided beforehand? If you answered yes, isn’t it even ruder for the meeting organiser not to give you this information? Meetings are one of those universal things that we all need to do in our day to day business, be it with internal stakeholders, suppliers, partners, even customers. But very few people ‘meet’ well. More often than not, meetings waste time – and a lot of it. Without a clearly defined objective for a meeting, it is nearly impossible for good outcomes to eventuate.
Meetings are disruptive. They distract your focus and slow down your progress. But they are also necessary in many situations. As a business owner or manager, you don’t have time to spare. So putting a spotlight on how you ‘meet’ could really provide some significant benefits to you and your business.
Consider these simple tips:
- Always have a written agenda. If there isn’t an agenda for a meeting, don’t meet.
- Always understand the objective of meeting. If there isn’t a defined objective, don’t meet.
- Always seek full participation to ensure that the broadest range of views are considered before decisions are made.
- Always make decisions. Even if they are actions for a participant to carry out before making a final decision.
- Always manage to a set time limit. When time is up, it’s up.
- Always take minutes and actions from the meeting so that everyone is accountable for progress the next time you meet.
Meetings can quickly fill up your diary with unproductive ‘busy’ time before you know it. Make sure you see meetings for what they are, and ensure that when you invest your time, you know what return you will receive.