Only Attend Useful Meetings

Only Attend Useful Meetings

There is a way to turn non-productive meetings and often downright boring meetings into affairs worthy of everyone’s time. Even yours!

I believe there is a way you can attend only productive meetings, whether it’s a business, committee, training or Bible study, it’s a meeting. And we all have attended meetings that are non-productive, a complete waste of time. Before suggesting ways to attend productive meetings, lets define productive as: objectives are accomplished in minimum time by satisfied participants.

There are three approaches for attending productive meetings, first is to teach those who conduct the meetings to plan and run them effectively, to suggest to meeting planners that they read and study the elements of running a good meeting. This approach may not work when it’s your boss or another senior member of a specific group, and who may think or feel they know it all, the unteachable, in which case I would recommend Jim Rohn’s stance, who would just not attend a time wasting event, unless of course he wanted to see how not to do it! Which brings me to the Second alternative, is that if you know it’s going to be a boring time wasting meeting, then don’t go. This second suggestion won’t work if you are an employee, an appointed leader of the group or need to give input or feedback regarding an important item on the agenda. The Third approach is probably the best way to go, and here I plan to spend a little more time.

Make it more productive

Go to the meeting and help to make it productive, instead of doing what most meeting attendees do, and that is to make the meeting unproductive, often without realising what they are doing, by griping, chatting, interrupting and in general causing problems.

Know why you are there, find out what your attendance will require of you and come prepared, if you only need to report on a financial matter, do you have to stay for the work shop production report?

Be on time, get to your seat a few minutes before starting time, you might even tactfully say,” It’s 9.00am, can we start?” This often gets the leader to do something. If the general mode is to wait for the late comers, then ask nicely why those who arrive on time must be penalised by having to wait for the tardy ones.

Stay on the subject, while handling a point for discussion, if a person starts going off on a tangent and begins to discuss an event that has no bearing to the subject at hand, then call on the chair to get back to the original agenda item.

Support the leader, go to the meeting with a positive attitude, help to find solutions and try to stay away from griping or complaining, don’t start a side conversation, rather get the group to hear what your concern is, and when you are in the chair and two or three members begin their own little meeting, just stop talking, look at that corner in the meeting room and soon your silence will get their attention, hopefully they will get the message, maybe even feel a little embarrassed and you can proceed with your meeting once more.

Be open to the ideas of others, you can agree to differ without starting an argument. When you show a willingness to listen to what others say or think, they in turn will feel obligated to listen to your viewpoint.

If the meeting looks like it’s going to go overtime, you can ask the leader to prioritise the agenda, to decide with the members what must be handled and move that the other items be postponed until the next meeting. So, make up your mind that the next meeting you attend is going to be productive, and time well spent, with objectives reached and with a positive anticipation to be there for the next one.

Overheard in a hotel lobby, Business meetings are important, one reason is that they demonstrate how many people the company can operate without.

To your next productive and exciting meeting!

Martin

 

 

Only Attend Useful Meetings

There is a way to turn non-productive meetings and often downright boring meetings into affairs worthy of everyone’s time. Even yours!

I believe there is a way you can attend only productive meetings, whether it’s a business, committee, training or Bible study, it’s a meeting. And we all have attended meetings that are non-productive, a complete waste of time. Before suggesting ways to attend productive meetings, lets define productive as: objectives are accomplished in minimum time by satisfied participants.

There are three approaches for attending productive meetings, first is to teach those who conduct the meetings to plan and run them effectively, to suggest to meeting planners that they read and study the elements of running a good meeting. This approach may not work when it’s your boss or another senior member of a specific group, and who may think or feel they know it all, the unteachable, in which case I would recommend Jim Rohn’s stance, who would just not attend a time wasting event, unless of course he wanted to see how not to do it! Which brings me to the Second alternative, is that if you know it’s going to be a boring time wasting meeting, then don’t go. This second suggestion won’t work if you are an employee, an appointed leader of the group or need to give input or feedback regarding an important item on the agenda. The Third approach is probably the best way to go, and here I plan to spend a little more time.

Make it more productive

Go to the meeting and help to make it productive, instead of doing what most meeting attendees do, and that is to make the meeting unproductive, often without realising what they are doing, by griping, chatting, interrupting and in general causing problems.

Know why you are there, find out what your attendance will require of you and come prepared, if you only need to report on a financial matter, do you have to stay for the work shop production report?

Be on time, get to your seat a few minutes before starting time, you might even tactfully say,” It’s 9.00am, can we start?” This often gets the leader to do something. If the general mode is to wait for the late comers, then ask nicely why those who arrive on time must be penalised by having to wait for the tardy ones.

Stay on the subject, while handling a point for discussion, if a person starts going off on a tangent and begins to discuss an event that has no bearing to the subject at hand, then call on the chair to get back to the original agenda item.

Support the leader, go to the meeting with a positive attitude, help to find solutions and try to stay away from griping or complaining, don’t start a side conversation, rather get the group to hear what your concern is, and when you are in the chair and two or three members begin their own little meeting, just stop talking, look at that corner in the meeting room and soon your silence will get their attention, hopefully they will get the message, maybe even feel a little embarrassed and you can proceed with your meeting once more.

Be open to the ideas of others, you can agree to differ without starting an argument. When you show a willingness to listen to what others say or think, they in turn will feel obligated to listen to your viewpoint.

If the meeting looks like it’s going to go overtime, you can ask the leader to prioritise the agenda, to decide with the members what must be handled and move that the other items be postponed until the next meeting. So, make up your mind that the next meeting you attend is going to be productive, and time well spent, with objectives reached and with a positive anticipation to be there for the next one.

Overheard in a hotel lobby, Business meetings are important, one reason is that they demonstrate how many people the company can operate without.

To your next productive and exciting meeting!

Martin

 

 

 

Share This:

Leave a Reply