Reach out and...
No, not that.
As I noted last week, I am not a big fan of meetings. Mostly because many meetings are poorly conceived, badly run, and don’t achieve any real objectives. Other than that, I guess they are fine.
It’s not that I am against gatherings. Social interaction is a needed part of building a cohesive organizational structure. But I don’t mean those horrific, orchestrated organizational events that we have all been subjected to.
Or these, writ larger.
Badly designed and executed meetings, of any sort, send a message that you don’t value your associates’ time. They can be seen as a symbol of either a top-down, hierarchical decision-making process, or a closed-circle group think.
When you must gather folks together for valid organizational reasons, collaboration is the best way to do so:
Ask at the outset: Is a meeting necessary? What will it accomplish that an email can’t? Get buy in first.
Form the agenda in consultation with the folks you need to meet with.
Set the agenda, with clear goals and desired outcomes. Circulate it early. Ask for feedback. This sets expectations.
Stick to the agenda; purposefully manage the meeting. Start the meeting on time. Don’t tolerate tardiness. It is disrespectful.This manages the expectations you have set.
Set a time limit on the meeting. Stick to it.
Offer social time AFTER the meeting, not before. Make it optional of course.
Make clear follow-up tasks and responsibilities part of the post-meeting discussion (via email.)
So don’t give bad meeting. And don’t accept all meeting requests. Be protective of your time and that of others.
The time you save may not be yours alone.