In meetings and communication, preparation is King!
In the previous blog we saw the director of a large company department call out a meeting and then show up late “because he had forgotten!”
Then, what happened next is even more amazing. The director began to pull out the slide projector from the back of the room, fighting his way through the crowded area. He finally got it plugged in, turned on the light and placed the first slide of the new organization on, but nothing showed up on the wall.
Realizing the projector was on backward, he struggled some more to get it right, etc. This is a true story in a world-class company and that individual was the head of that gathered department.
Some people believe that arriving late at a meeting is a sign of importance. No, it's not. And it's not a manipulative tool to show how big one is. We earn our respect by being on time, by respecting other people's time. It is not fair to those who have been invited to attend, and who have phone calls to make and work to do. Continuous training is done by our behaviour, by being efficient in our roles as managers.
Then we have those who think that running late at every checkpoint of a meeting is also a sign of "bigness". Well, it is only a sign of disorganization, sloppiness or not being in control. And, the best way to discourage people from coming to your meetings is to do just that. On the contrary, if you finish a couple of minutes earlier... there will be excitement and appreciation, and people will not be afraid to come to your meetings again.
Any kind of meetings, be it seminars, sales presentations, workshops, conventions -- must commence and end at the pre-determined and announced time. They must be on target with the agenda, and fast-moving.
First, there must be an agenda -- never have a meeting without one. It should outline briefly why the meeting is being held, what the goal or result is expected to be, and it should break down the subjects and activities in 5- or 10-minute increments.
And this requires preparation ahead of time.
There are basically 3 types of meetings… we will look at them in the next blog.