Injecting Logic into Meetings: A Blueprint for Effective Collaboration

I don’t like long and pointless business meetings. In fact, I believe hardly anyone likes them, except for those who see them as a stage for demonstrating power, addressing personal complexes, or as the only place where they can talk without exposing their inexperience in immediate practice. The truth is, in such meetings, you can plan all you want, knowing that realizing those plans in the future is unlikely.

However, if organized and conducted properly, meetings represent a crucial segment of any corporation’s functioning. It is essential to manage them thoughtfully and with quality, whether you are expected to do so or are capable of doing so.

A successful meeting requires careful preparation in advance, a clearly defined theme, and a set time limit. Several key steps contribute to successful coordination.

  1. Assemble the Right Team: Form a team consisting of people with similar positions, experience, and authority. If your team includes both an assistant and a vice president, something is not set up correctly.
  2. Create an Agenda: Design an agenda that includes topics fitting into specified timelines. Always ask yourself the meeting’s goal. Could someone have a hidden agenda? Are you solving a problem or creating one?
  3. Come Prepared: Gather all necessary materials before the meeting and encourage others to do the same. This ensures a smooth discussion, allowing you to address any misunderstandings, set deadlines, and delegate tasks for the next meeting.
  4. Moderate Effectively: Take on the role of the moderator to lead the meeting and manage people. Stop pointless arguments and tangents, and stay focused and efficient. Save a part of yourself for private moments and hobbies, as there will always be provocations in meetings.
  5. Don’t Underestimate Notes: Record a summary, key ideas, questions, and main conclusions from the meeting. Be cautious about when and to whom you present them, as not everyone may appreciate or understand your insights.
  6. Be Proactive: Make suggestions in the form of a detailed presentation, ensuring even those without knowledge in your field can understand. Clearly describe the problem, present case options, and offer concise, fact-based proposals.
  7. Prioritize Structure: Present your thoughts in a clear, unambiguous, and logically connected manner. Personal organization and transparency in work are crucial. Use checklists to track projects, activities, and responsibilities, updating them regularly.
  8. Agree and Accept Suggestions: Collaborate with the team and be open to suggestions that are deemed expedient. Pre-sell your proposals by sending them to decision-makers individually, incorporating feedback before the final approval.

By adhering to these suggestions, you are on your way to preventing meetings from becoming a bad theater performance. However, keep in mind that well-organized efforts don’t guarantee success when there are those actively working against it. Conducting meetings is challenging and uncertain, but it’s your duty to do your best to keep them productive.

Remember, the right way is the shortest way. Quality and hard work are always valued in companies that operate ethically: “It’s not the employees that matter; it’s the output of the employees that counts.”

Author: Dobra Odlucic