Plan Better Meetings and Come Closer to Your Project Aims with Self-Management

by Bernd on June 18, 2012 · 0 comments

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“Are you alone? Do you hate having to make decisions? Would you prefer to talk about things rather than just do them? Then it is time for a meeting!”

There is a reason why meetings are at the centre of many office jokes, but be honest, have you ever once thought in a meeting, “now I can get to work?” Having pointless discussions in a meeting often sends shivers down our spine, though if we are to plan better meetings, we firstly need to change our attitude with self-management and by sticking to these few basic rules:

1. No Meeting without Aim and Purpose

There is no point having a meeting which does not have a purpose or an aim; therefore, it is important to check whether the meeting objective is in line with the aim of the project. Make sure all members at the meeting are fully aware of the meeting objective by adhering to an agenda which contains all points for discussion. Lastly, just remember that if a meeting has no clear objective then do not shy away from cancelling it!

2. Small Group – Brilliant Meeting

A group with three to eight individuals is not called a working group for nothing! You may be surprised to hear that the working ability of a group increases in proportion with its group size. However, if you don’t want your meeting to become a stage for the loudest voice, then keep the number of individuals present small (eight and under) and you can be sure that the meeting will bring you closer to your project aim.

3. Better Meetings with Discipline

Agendas are there to be adhered to! Whoever regularly makes alternations to an agenda and reschedules meetings is therefore certain to frustrate its members. Just remember, if management do not take the meeting agenda seriously, then why should its participants? This also applies to the meeting time frame which should always try to be adhered to.

4. Good Following-Up skills is Half the Meeting

Only results which have been properly documented can count as results. If you find the perfect solution for a problem in a meeting but don’t take a note of it, then the problem will simply land on the agenda of the next meeting. To this matter, endless discussions should also be avoided by making prompt decisions, having deadlines and documenting important information (all part of self-management). Moreover, it is wise to distribute a report to each member after a meeting in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

5. Take Meetings Seriously

Productive meetings are a result of good self-management, clear aims, planning and organisation. Meetings are often seen as not being real work and therefore not taken seriously, but the key to success is to give meetings a perspective by following the rules highlighted above (1 to 4) and, above all, making sure that the meeting covers the project objective. In addition, if you are required to set an example to others, then it is important that you are punctual, have enthusiasm, communicate clearly and are aim orientated – only when you take the meeting seriously, will the members of your meeting do so.

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