Make meetings count
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.’’