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Why Meetings Can Be Great

Why Meetings Can Be Great

There are many subjects, events, and scenarios that run through our minds during a course of a day. Some of them are directly related to the project, some are indirectly related, and some are not related. The effect is that the interrelated experiences come together to motivate an agenda. Hopefully, an agenda produces what the customer wants. But, life happens and oftentimes the unexpected becomes what is expected. Meetings can be a great equalizer for life events that get thrown at the project’s schedule.
 
In the name of efficiency:
 
Meetings can be a powerful tool in the name of efficiency! I believe this because people are full of ideas and emotional feelings that can’t be contained. People are not robots. That in mind, a quick focus/refocus meeting is usually all that is needed. Keep in mind the personalities of the players involved. Here are a couple of scenarios of what some players might be thinking:
 
“As a Project Manager, I have a goal to make sure our deliverable is finished and turned in by tomorrow at 11am. I called a meeting in order to do a quality assessment check. I can’t know everything that is going on, but I want to help out where we might have trouble. We have been working on this task for a long time and I wonder if the team is losing enthusiasm.”
 
“As a worker bee, I have a set of important procedures to get done by 3pm. However, my project manager has called an hour long meeting and there will not be as much time to do what I am responsible for getting done. My time is important. I hope the PM recognizes this! Today, I have a dentist appointment. I want to take off at 3:30pm. I don’t like how our calendar system works, it could be much better.”
 
Finding Clarity:
 
We can find availabilities and benchmarks that we might not have known existed from other people. Meetings can be a more formal situation to find clarity for future endeavors.
 
If there were several people in the jungle to find their way home, it would be essential to constantly meet with each other. “I see footprints!” “Those are my footprints”, someone else says. “This is good to eat, but that is poisonous.” “Does anyone have a band-aid?”
 
The team is probably not in a jungle. So, constant meeting might not be necessary for functional work. But, meetings resolve issues that can cause bottlenecks and concern. Effective meetings should do 3 things:
 
1) Achieve an objective
 
2) Eradicate drama and promote trust
 
3) Take up a minimum amount of time
 
The objective:
 
In order to stop everyone from what they are doing, there should be good reason. The reason, purpose, or objective is “What would be a good outcome from having the meeting?”
  •  Does a decision need to be made?
  •  Are ideas needed?
  •  Does everyone need to be informed of a danger?
  •  Are new plans being made?
 
At the end of the meeting, what should have happened? With the end in mind, it would be easier to find what is necessary to put the meeting together.
 
Put away the drama and promote trust:
 
Meetings are helpful in putting everyone on the same page. When everyone is on the same page, teamwork is realized and synergy can happen. Some ways to focus on improving our effectiveness can be quite simple. By having a meeting that invites others to integrate what they are thinking promotes trust within the workplace. Here are some ways to be up front:

                Problem

                             Solution

If you like something

    State it

If you don’t like something

    State it

If you want something

    Ask for it

If you want to be understood

   Explain

If you have a question

   Ask

Time:

With more risk comes more need for management. With more management come more meetings. Meetings can be time consuming if there are a lot of objectives. Creating a table of contents for the meeting agenda with timeline is a methodical and structured way to streamline a meeting. If a topic starts to take on many branches (and more time) it can be deferred into another subcommittee to be reconvened. To create some motivation, get others involved and assign them to take part of a section.     
 
Meetings can be great! 

Author - Gregory Morrow

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