Guide to Productive Meetings: Ask Yourself “Why Am I Talking?”

meeting tip

Imagine it’s a Monday morning and you’ve prepared yourself for a productive day.

You arrive at your desk at 8.20am and see that your valued co-worker has stolen your desk. How would that make you feel?

Now imagine you then remember you accepted an invite to a meeting that morning of no real importance, with no agenda, that steals 90 minutes of your time. Would you feel the same sense of frustration with someone stealing your most valuable asset (precious time) as you would about them taking your mahogany scented office furniture? I hope so.

How are you ever going to run a successful start-up from a regional area? You’ll miss out on face-to-face meetings from corporates.

This is a concern that was put to me many times when I left Sydney to launch TalentVine from the Sunshine Coast. Whilst that has an element of truth to it, I’ve realised that people want to work smarter, and that involves better time management.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there is huge value in meeting someone face-to-face and creating a relationship of trust and support that’s hard to replicate on the phone.

However, I am yet to hear the slightest tone of disappointment from a Founder, Managing Director or HR Director when I suggest that we can probably achieve that we are looking to discuss through a 10min scheduled phone or Skype call as opposed to taking a full hour of their time to travel somewhere, order coffee, discuss our weekends, express love or hate towards cyclists in lycra and then cover 30 minutes of business chat.

For the record, I am a regular cyclist and proud purveyor of Lycra but there have been a couple of instances when I’ve adopted a business prospect’s head-shaking, foot-stomping attitude towards ‘These bloody cyclist who think they own the road’ just so I could get the sale. Turncoat? Unfaithful? Maybe, but I had sales targets!

I’ve just shown how easy it is to get off track.

So to make up for this deviation from the key message, below is an image I wanted to share that I am loving at the moment. This would be extremely effective to adopt in all meetings. So let’s all go forth and have productive meetings, be concise, focus on key issues and most importantly, respect each other’s time.

Better-Meeting-Rules-FlowChart-WAIT-Why-Am-I-Talking

 

 

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