Of Meetings and Meeting People You Have Never Met

There are some common work situation when you just have so many things to do, so many tasks to perform, so many delayed problems, so many issues to solve and so many people to please and advice – that the only reasonable way to take care of them all in one is by setting a meeting.
As it often happens, the absolute necessity of a meeting is increasingly higher if the topic is insignificant, pointless or if there is no topic to begin with. Have you ever been there? Well, to avoid having the wrong kind of meeting behavior – I drew up a series of easy to follow points to guide you. Just follow these steps and you will be a meeting superstar in no time!

Make sure you never present an agenda prior to the meeting. It is your  show,  you know perfectly what you’re going to present – and you don’t want anyone else to steal your ideas! Just send out an invitation – that’ll do it!

A serious meeting will never take place in the morning.  People need to feel involved – so try to schedule meetings during lunchtime or late in the afternoon.  It might seem strange – but for sure they will have time to sit for your meeting, after all who would choose going home after regular business hours?

Also, if you need to have a conference call with someone on a completely different time zone – don’t be afraid to challenge them! Waking up at 5 am for a confcall is always a fun way to start the day.

A meeting with anything less than 15 invitees is but a gathering. Any serious meeting needs at least 2-3 people from every existing department – it does not matter whether they should be involved or not – what it does matter is participation, just like in sports! Besides,  the more peopeople – the more ideas,  so don’t worry, invite as many people as you can, a meeting is always useful!

Keep it concise and skip introduction. Jump straight into the issue and expect resolutions – after all you did bring only subject matter experts so they should know exactly what is wrong and how to solve it.
Do not book a meeting room! It is the rookie’s mistake to do it! Meeting rooms should always be available – they are not hotel rooms or flights! Just go inside,  and if anyone happens to be in there – look them in the eyes and say I’m sorry but this has been scheduled since weeks already. I am sure you will find somewhere else.

Remember that Time is important – so limit yourself to max 3 hours. Anything more than that – and you would wear yourself out. 3 hours is however a nice timeframe – and you will most likely be able to cover all the topics. In the event you were not able to finish in time – just cut the question and answer time. Anyways you’ve done a perfect job, I’m sure noone will have anything to ask.

Do not go over your duty and never check if technically you are covered! It is IT and maintance job to make sure phones, cameras, beamers and live meeting channels work. The only thing you have to do is meet with the team!

Make sure you are not present on time. A meeting that starts at the exact timing it was planned shows you are not important within the organisation! You want to be fashionably late – and don’t bother explaining, they know you are busy and they all understand.

A meeting room is no church – you can still answer your phone if someone calls you. Just say I have to take this, it’ll just be 2 minutes and walk out. But make sure if the call is not important to let the phone ring (hip-hop tunes are particularly enjoyable) and you can maybe explain to the others ah this guy calls me usually 2-3 times a day, he just has to deal with it alone this time… I am in a meeting!
Do not let yourself fooled by the decision trap! Conclusions, solutions and decisions are for analysts – you have follow-up meetings! Never, under no circumstance close a meeting with clear take-away points! It shows you are not being dedicated to the meeting  – so make sure you will have minimum 8-10 following meeting,  to further disect the topic.

Q&A rounds are only for the amateurs. Don’t waste your precious time with that. Just close with I am sure everyone understood and there’s no need to ask anything. However,  if a dilettante does have a question – point out his mistake if you had only paid attention to the presentation you would have already found your answer.

Finally, as a closing,  point out to everyone how disappointed and dissatisfied you are with their participation – and explain meeting are also working time so you expect all other pending tasks are suppose to be duly performed, no exception!

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I am a professional in the field of Supply Chain and Logistics - with +14 years of experience in different environments. I had worked in the industrial field - mainly Automotive but also Consumer Goods and Agricultural Machinery

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