Tag: meetings

Think Your Meetings Stink?

It is possible that no other topic gets more air time in management journals, newspapers, and business school classrooms than “effective meeting management”, and here’s another example from The Wall Street Journal reporting on “stand-up meetings”.  There’s a tsunami of theory, conjecture, assumptions, and assertions on how to conduct better meetings!  Is it possible that poor meetings are simply the reflection of the irrelevance, the lack of maturity and/or the willingness to waste time of the meeting participants?  If you are asked to attend or are attending a bad meeting, well, then, change its course or leave!

Do not even attend a meeting when:

  1. You have not received an agenda beforehand.  Do not hesitate to ask for one!
  2. There are more than 10 invitees (with exception).  Rarely, should there be more than 1 person representing a function, and I am having a hard time thinking of 10 functions in any one organization.  If there is more than one representative invited from a specific function, then the reason should be readily apparent otherwise somebody’s time is being wasted.

Leave a meeting when:

  1. It has not started after 10 minutes.
  2. You find that you have nothing to contribute.  Warning signs may include: 1) blank note paper except doodles and unrelated rants, 2) a strong desire to fall asleep, 3) a desire to check and respond to text messages, and 4) words are not coming out of your mouth.
  3. The agenda is not followed, and there are no decisions or action steps to be taken.
  4.  Attendees have their laptops open.  This means that the meeting is really not that important enough to pay full attention.

Before leaving a meeting, though, HRInsights recommends that you excuse yourself, and indicate in polite terms why you are leaving.  It is possible that there has been a miscommunication or a disconnection that the meeting leader should have the chance to address and correct.  If there is no “push-back”, that’s your license to head off to something more productive.

Dog Days of Summer: Useful Time Killers!

Frank McCabe is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at The Beacon Group, a Massachusetts-based construction, logistics and facility services firm.

Summer time at the office – often a slow and less than energetic atmosphere.  Every week, another colleague or employee is off on vacation.  So are your customers.  Prospects find new and interesting reasons to blow you off.  Everyone is even more conscious of the clock as they look to get out of dodge as early as possible to enjoy the daylight.  No surprise to anyone and it is simply human nature.

With that said, summer can be a great time to take charge of the aspects of your work life that always find their way to the back burner when business is booming.  The next time you find yourself surfing the web because your boss is white water rafting in Colorado or your top performer is taking the 6th Friday in a row off, be productive with the down time.

A few ideas….

  • Learn!

The web offers a million different (and oftentimes FREE) on-line classes in every discipline.  Brush up on new social media tools.  Take that advanced MS Office class you have been meaning to do.  For you brave souls, you could even investigate how you might get that advanced degree that has hindered your professional progress and advancement.

  • Mundane Meetings

When times are busy, we are all pros at blowing off certain meetings that just are not important to us at that time.  Summer slow down is a perfect time to get these behind you.

  • No small fish!

Visit with your smaller clients – make them feel as important as the ‘whales.’  (BTW – you should be doing this all the time, but I understand!)

  • FREE Lunch!

Take someone on your team to lunch.  Whether it is your ‘rain maker’ or simply the guy or gal that needs a little pick me up.  These gestures are always appreciated and give that extra motivation – especially when the temptation to duck out a little early is at its highest.

  • Clean up!

When all else fails; clean up!  Clean up your office, your cube, your desk.  Clean up your PC – you know you have files saved all over the place despite your contention that it all has “a system.”  Yes, this is a boring and menial task, yet we all feel better when things are in order (don’t worry, it won’t last long!)

None of these ideas are the fun undertakings we dream about when we think about the passing of summer, but they are nonetheless important…and will make the time pass before your next vacation!