Meetings are a regular part of business life. They are also a wonderful opportunity to exchange valuable information & ideas, and move goals forward. When we are not intentional in our meeting preparation, we miss the chance to be fully present with our key stakeholders (employees, customers, partners, advisors, prospects).
I get many requests for coffee, lunch, and phone calls. All of these engagements take time and energy. Prior to committing to anyone, I ask them to provide me three objectives, and their expectations for our time together. Whether it’s 20 minutes or 2 hours, I want to be prepared, and I want to meet their expectations. I also want them to be fully prepared and focused.
Time is one of our most valuable resources. When you set aside time for a meeting, are you harnessing the power of that time? Regardless of the size of the group (2 – 20), how can you ensure success for every meeting?
The answer is simple: Set Expectations.
Prior to your meeting:
1: Outline your expectations for the meeting. What do you want to discuss? What do you want to share? What are you expecting from the other people?
2: Share your expectations/agenda with the participants, and ask them the same questions.
3: Create a formal agenda (on paper) that combines all expectations and share with the participants.
At the beginning of the meeting:
1: Review the agenda one more time.
2: Ask if anyone has any modifications and revise accordingly.
Immediately following the meeting:
1: Follow up with a recap to include what was discussed, what issues were parked for a later time, and assigned action items.
2: Assign dates to any expected outcomes.
3: Ask participants if you missed anything in your recap.
This process works great for any kind of meeting, whether it’s a new employee check-in, a team meeting, a strategy meeting, a customer meeting, or any other meeting in which people may be showing up with misaligned expectations and objectives (which is potentially every meeting!)
1: That you know what others want and expect
2: That others want and expect the same outcomes as you do
3: That people will speak up when they are not encouraged to do so
Meetings can be a great tool to move agendas forward, and to create a culture of clear, trust-based communication. These actions will set every meeting up for success. These rules apply to all meetings: in-person, teleconferences, and video conferences. Every meeting has the potential to be great!
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Please check out my Inc. Magazine columns on my Author Page too.
– In my latest Inc, article, I share The Essential Guide to Avoiding Workplace Text, Email, & Social Media Disasters.
– Learn about the 9 Leadership Behaviors that Lose Employee Trust & Respect here.
CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”