Friday, July 20, 2012

Time Management Class Part 3: Dealing with Meetings

Welcome back to the Time Management Series - just in Time to get prepared for your Monday Morning Meeting!
Meetings can be one of the most distracting elements of your work Day - especially if managed poorly. We all know how it feels to sit in a Meeting that can cost us several productive Hours and there is no end in Sight. Most of the people on the table seem to be distracted or somewhere else with their Mind, while two or three Individuals participate in a Discussion that might seem irrelevant. Even thought many people perceive Meetings to be wasteful expenses of Time, they can also present great Opportunities to interact and solve crucial Issues and should be used as such. In the following we will get into 4 Strategies you can use to take charge of Your Meetings:

1. The first Step is to ask your Supervisor if your Participation is necessary in this Meeting. If you are not needed, there is no reason for you to spend the additional hours coming to the Meeting. Managers often underestimate the cost of each Meeting: A Meeting costs you the accumulated hourly wage of all participants so it should be treated as a precious Investment.

2. The second Strategy is to ask for the Agenda of the Meeting. A Meeting needs to have a starting and an ending Time - otherwise it will continue with unproductive and unnecessary Discussion.
3. If the Meeting does not have an Agenda, suggest to make one yourself. Not only will your Supervisor appreciate the Initiative, but an Agenda can also save Your Meeting over 75% of the Time. Bullet points with each necessary discussion point lead to quick transition Times and efficient Structure. 2 hour Meetings will end up costing you merely 30 Minutes when everyone has the Agenda to know what to talk about.  Prepare a quick Agenda with a starting and an ending Time, including a few Bullet points of the subjects necessary to discuss.
4. Use the Meeting to prepare important points you wanted to go over with Colleagues and your Supervisor. A Meeting can be crucial to your Success, since it will give you a Platform to quickly touch on crucial Input you might need. Use Meetings as a Place for training, productive Discussion and important Problem Solving. Keep asking yourself the Question: “Does everyone here benefit from this discussion?”

Always be aware of keeping your Meetings brief, productive, motivating, efficient and precious!
Preparing an agenda might cost you 10 Minutes, noting down important questions or challenges might take you 2 Minutes, however your Meetings will turn into valuable Exchanges and productive Moments rather than wasted Hours!

What do you think about your Company Meetings? What could you do to contribute to their Efficiency and benefit from the Interaction?

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