When you have a meeting, how do you handle it? Do you research everything in advance or simply turn up and “wing it”? I’m not just talking about new client meetings here, but any meeting.
You allocate a chunk of your day to attend a particular meeting. You should have a clear agenda for that meeting in advance and you should know what you are (a) going to contribute and (b) get out of it. If the answer is nothing to both these questions then really you need to ask yourself why you are attending the meeting in the first place.
You should also have taken the time in advance to review any minutes from a previous meeting and relevant documentation for various agenda items. There’s nothing worse than watching the entire group hastily scanning important documents during a meeting when they have had them for 2 weeks prior!
A friend of mine told me a great way to ensure meetings remain focused and run to time. At the beginning of the meeting the chair asks each person with an agenda point they are leading on how much time they need to cover their point. They are not allowed any more than what they request and it is their responsibility to ensure they cover the relevant information within the time slot agreed before the meeting moves to the next agenda item. This approach not only makes sure the meeting runs to time, it also has people thinking about the points they raise.
Too much time in my opinion is spent on having meetings for meeting’s sake. In today’s world, much can be done using email and on the phone rather than having a face-to-face meeting. That said, meetings cannot be avoided, the strategy is to get the most out of every one you do attend. During my normal work week I regularly have more than 10 face-to-face meetings, of which I would say half are necessary! And that’s fine, because some clients’ still like to see who they are doing business with.
If I can be of help in this area, please get in touch.