Not Another Meeting

WorkMatters Tips Issue #5 – October 10, 2006
Publisher: Gayle Lantz
A quick tip to help leaders and executives who need to motivate
their teams and themselves, and catapult their business.

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Not Another Meeting

Help!I’m stuck in another meeting! One of the biggest complaints I hear from clients is they have to attend too many meetings. Not only that, but many of those meetings are not as productive as they should be.

Whether you’re running the meeting yourself or you’re at the mercy of someone else in charge, make sure you really need to be there. And if so, make it count.

Before the meeting ask:
"What do I (or we) want to happen as a result of this meeting?"
"Do I really need to be in this meeting?"

Be honest with yourself. Your time may actually be better spent elsewhere. Make sure you’re attending for the right reason: to make a difference in accomplishing an objective where your knowledge, experience, perspective or insights are most needed.

Here are some of the unspoken (and sometimes spoken) dangerous motivations for attending meetings.

    * Need to feel important
Check your ego. Sometimes people like to participate in meetings simply because it makes them feel important. They believe their presence and contribution are critical when, in fact, that may not be true.

    * Don’t want to miss anything
If you just like knowing what’s going on, get the highlights from a colleague who attended the meeting.

    * Avoiding other work
Meetings are great excuses for not being able to get your most important work done. Don’t blame your meeting.

    * Stuck in a habit
If you think you’re meeting for the sake of meeting, do something to shake things up. Clarify what you really want out of each meeting. Break your habit. Don’t meet just because the item appears on your calendar.

    * Lack of trust
If you’re the leader and you’re not there,things won’t get done…at least not as well. Right? Learn to trust others to run a productive meeting.

Yes, some meetings are inevitable, but you have more control over other meetings than you think. Running productive meetings makes a difference in your personal and company performance.

A meeting is not something to be checked off your "to-do" list. Instead, it should be a vehicle for getting results. Meet with purpose. Meet to move forward.

P.S. If meetings are driving you mad, let me know if I can help.

Manager quote from a recent meeting: "We’re going to continue having these meetings, every day, until I find out why no work is getting done."
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