Bill Harrison Sept Quick Notes- Meetings
A Message from Bill Harrison – The Coach
Are you still having too many meetings, virtual or in person? Do many of them seem unproductive? Most would say yes. Managers just have meetings; some on a regular schedule and others unplanned. Too many folks do not know how to have a productive meeting, sometimes the manager and sometimes the participants and sometimes both. Read on.
I am talking about meetings with three or more participants. When two people meet it is a conversation.
There are two basic kinds of meetings. One is informational. It might be about changes in the insurance plans. It might be new information on a safety change or OSHA requirement. It might be a change in procedures. It is important to realize that not everyone will “get it” at that meeting. Have handouts and plan to pass this information on in additional meetings until all questions are answered. Just remember, not everyone gets it the first time.
Every meeting must have an agenda or we are just meeting to talk.
The majority of meetings are to discuss “issues” and get items corrected. Basically, it is to be in a constant improvement mode. For most companies this means tweaking what we are doing. Most businesses are doing well or they would not be in business.
It is a good idea to pass the agenda out ahead of time so folks can come prepared. Also, a good idea to have participants have input into the agenda. Yes, this takes “extra” time but it is worth it. Or we just meet to talk about “stuff”.
Everyone in the meeting needs to be listened to; and heard. Sometimes a half-baked idea can result in something first class if everyone is listening and participating. Shut one person down and you shut down the entire group.
Talk about facts; not what we think is so. If you do not have the facts you need, get them for the next meeting. Talk directly about issues, not around them. The focus must always come back to what do we need to do to improve what we do.
Lastly, everyone must leave the meeting knowing exactly what they need to do and by when. Make those deadlines realistic. Not everything can be done by the next meeting. Sometimes we are taking interim steps and not doing it all right now. Sometimes we need to gather certain information before we can move ahead. Slow down to go faster.
I have created an action item report for meetings that helps with this. Want a copy, let me know. Any feedback, please share. The Coach cares.