Make meet­ings count

The Advertiser - Careers - - General Vacancies -

MEET­INGS are es­sen­tial to keep all staff in­formed but there are ways lead­ers can pre­vent their em­ploy­ees from con­sid­er­ing them a waste of time, a work­place ex­pert says.

Bob Selden, au­thor of What to Do When You Be­come the Boss, ad­vises lead­ers to en­sure staff are pre­pared for a meet­ing by mak­ing the ap­point­ment a week in ad­vance, if pos­si­ble, and in­form­ing them about its pur­pose and what will be re­quired of them at the time.

He says in­ef­fec­tive meet­ings of­ten:

DO not have a clearly de­fined pur­pose. FO­CUS too much on the past. COVER in­for­ma­tion that can be dis­trib­uted by other means.

But ef­fec­tive meet­ings mo­ti­vate a team and must fo­cus on shar­ing in­for­ma­tion or solv­ing a prob­lem, with the fu­ture a main dis­cus­sion point.

Mr Selden says in­for­ma­tion shar­ing meet­ings need to be about de­cid­ing what to do with in­for- ma­tion and ‘‘80 per cent fu­ture­ori­ented’’ with, at most, 20 per cent of dis­cus­sions re­volv­ing around the past, such as re­sults or re­ports.

Ev­ery time the meet­ing dis­cus­sion drifts to fo­cus on the past, it must be redi­rected to fo­cus on the fu­ture, he says.

‘‘Keep ask­ing ‘OK, so what are we go­ing to do with this in­for­ma­tion?’ or ‘We’ve heard the back­ground so how should we pro­ceed now?’ ’’ he ad­vises. Prob­lem­solv­ing meet­ings must gather ev­ery­one’s views on a prob­lem and also should not linger in past or present sit­u­a­tions.

Ground rules need to be set and a dis­cus­sion needs to start early on in the meet­ing, he says.

‘‘Use ques­tions to stim­u­late dis­cus­sion,’’ he ad­vises.

‘‘En­cour­age team mem­bers to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for re­sults.’’

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