We sometimes have a love-hate relationship with meetings. We know that if we want high levels of communication, we need to spend time meeting with those who we want to communicate with. Otherwise, we end up running around wondering why nothing is getting done.
While I’m in full support of meetings, I’m not a huge fan of how some people run them. Keep in mind, I’m nowhere near perfect. I just have a few pet peeves that, if addressed, will make meetings considerably more productive. So if I were a bank robber, here’s how I would do it.
- Plan Like a Bank Robber – Just walking into a bank without a plan and robbing it isn’t a genius idea. Actually, neither is robbing banks. Way too many people have an idea of a subject that needs to be met about, but spend no time actually planning to discuss said subject. Set a time for YOU to meet with yourself to figure out exactly what it is you want out of the meeting. Is it just a brainstorming session? Is it strategic planning? Is it tactical hand-to-hand combat? Whatever the desired result, be sure you know it ahead of time.
- Share the Wealth – There is nothing more frustrating than NOT knowing what the meeting you just invited me to is about. I think it’s ridiculous to send someone a meeting request and not fill them in. Think about it. If I come to your meeting unprepared and you ask my opinion, I have to say, I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it yet. OK, let’s be honest, I’ll have an opinion. Wouldn’t it have been better for me to know it ahead of time, so I could spend time brainstorming and share what I’ve come up with on the front side? That gives us time to banter with everyone’s ideas.
- Don’t Forget the Getaway Driver – If you have to send people back to explain the meeting to someone you forgot to add as an attendee, then details will be lost. In the pre-planning process, be sure to invite all who need to be there. Over communicating is not a bad thing.
- I Thought You Checked the Vault – Finally, make sure that EVERYONE involved understands their roles. Before the meeting ends, go around the room and assign the necessary tasks to each team member. Want to take it a step further? Send emails to all who attended and ask them to email you back what they believe their roles to be. This will give you the opportunity to comment, add or take away.
These are just a few ways that I believe will make your next meeting more of a success. Try the above ideas and let me know the outcome.
Question: What tips do you have for making a better meeting?