How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Meetings: The Purpose, The Pain, The Possibility
Guest articles > Meetings: The Purpose, The Pain, The Possibility
by: Sharon Drew Morgen
As business folk, we hold meetings regularly. Yet often we don’t accomplish what we set out to achieve. Why?
Meetings are held to accomplish a specific, beneficial outcome requiring the attendance of the right people with the right agenda.
Often we end up with miscommunication, wasted time, incomplete outcomes, misunderstanding, lack of ownership and ongoing personnel issues – sometimes an indication of internal power and faulty communications issues.
With greater success we can: stimulate thinking; achieve team building, innovation, and clear communication; and efficiently complete target issues. Here are some problem areas and solutions:
People. When outcomes aren’t being met effectively it’s a people- and management problem including: fall-out, sabotage, and resistance; long execution times; exclusion of peripheral people; restricted creativity and communication; exacerbated power and status issues. Are the most appropriate people (users, decision makers, influencers) invited? All who have good data or necessary questions?
Agenda. No hidden agendas! Recipients of potential outcomes must be allowed to add agenda items prior to the meeting.
Action. Too often, action items don’t get completed effectively. How do action items get assigned or followed up? What happens if stuff’s not done when agreed? How can additional meetings be avoided?
Discussion. How long do people speak? How do conversations progress? How do the proceedings get recorded? What is the format for discussions? How is bias avoided?
Understanding. Does everyone take away the same interpretation of what happened? How do you know when there have been miscommunications or misunderstandings?
Transparency. Agendas should be placed online, to be read, signed-off, and added to.
Accomplishments. Are items accomplished in a suitable time frame? What happens when they aren’t?
Meetings can be an important activity for collaboration and creativity if they are managed properly and taken as a serious utilization of time and output. Ask yourself: Do you want to meet? Or get work accomplished collaboratively?
Sharon Drew Morgen is the author of 9 books, including NYTimes Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity, and What? Did You Really Say What I Think I Heard? She has developed facilitation material for sales/change management, coaching, and listening. To learn more about her sales, decision making, and change management material, (www.dirtylittlesecretsbook.com) go to www.sharondrewmorgen.com. To learn more about her work on closing the gap between what’s said and what’s heard, go to www.didihearyou.com. Contact Sharon Drew for training, keynotes, or online programs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sharon Drew is currently designing programs for coaches to Find and Keep the Ideal Client, and Lead Facilitation for Lead Generation.
Contributor: Sharon Drew Morgen
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