If your automatic reaction to any situation at work is to call a meeting, it may be time to stand back and look at why you’re so reliant on meetings. Even when calling one is justified, there are still some things you need to consider if it is to be a success.
1. Think about what it is you’re trying to achieve.
What is your desired outcome? What is the desired outcome for everybody involved? If you can’t answer that, well why are you bothering to herd these people into the same space? What are you wasting everyone’s time for?
2. Do you actually need one?
Are there alternatives to scheduling a meeting? Could you do this virtually rather than face to face, for example? Even if you really do need a meeting, do you need everybody to be there for the entire duration?
3. Invite the right people.
Can you actually identify everybody that you will need at the meeting? Can you ensure that they will all be there? If someone cannot be there are you happy with a substitute?
4. Make certain that you have an agenda.
Circulate an agenda beforehand. Be sure that everybody is happy, not just with what you’re covering but with the order in which you are covering it. If everyone is properly briefed before the meeting, there will be no surprises during it. Think about which agenda items you’re going to give priority to. Don’t be too ambitious in trying to cover too much and don’t expect people to stay on beyond the time allocated for the meeting.
The meeting that you have scheduled is not just a talking shop. Ensure that the decisions made in the meeting get followed up and that there are real actions taken as result of the discussion.
About the author:
Simon North is the Founder of Position Ignition and the Career Ignition Club. Position Ignition is one of the UK’s leading career development and career planning companies. The Career Ignition Club offers a range of career support tools, advice and e-learning materials for its members. Follow Simon North and his team on twitter @PosIgnition and get more advice from him on their Career Advice Blog.