Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thought: Importance of Meetings!

As we all wait for the meeting to begin, the precarious moments of the next hour looms large in front of us, with sweaty palms, shaking legs, tapping ID cards, drumming fingers, paper cones cleaning the ears, chewing of the gums, dancing pens, scribbling on the paper, rolling the paper weight or even doing some eye-exercise to release the stress or fight-out your sleep; are some of the most noticeable actions that we see in the meeting room. These meetings never seem to get anywhere is also an opinion that’s widely heard across many organizations.

Moreover, half the people attending the meeting seem distracted and the other half frustrated. The distracted lot keep checking their watches once in every 10 seconds while the frustrated ones keep thinking about their receding hair lines.

And then we hear our host begin, clearing his throat in the most clich├ęd rhythm,
Now, we’ve been meeting every week for months and the purpose seems to have gotten lost as I see no progress on the milestones that we must have met long since!

And then suddenly you ask yourself, "Darn, How did we get here and what can be done about it? And most of all, who invented these meetings anyway? Of all the days, why should it be on this very day when I must leave by 3pm to pick up my kid from the school as she returns from her excursion after a long week?"

Your feeling of dread deepens as you momentarily recall that . . . you're supposed to be the driving this meeting and you are the one who must take the MOM (Minutes of the Meeting) and also run this meeting during your host’s absence.

Well, now block all thoughts that belong to the outside world of those glass doors and confine your thought processes to the crux of the very discussion that you are getting into.

• First things first, Being on time for the meetings is like learning “A for Apple” so don’t do any mistakes on that one!

• Try to be a leader and take charge of the situation no matter wherever or however important you are in the meeting.

• Identify exactly what you want to expect in each of these meetings and do keep a check if these are accomplished and is catering to the needs of the participants.

• You have been invited for a meeting, simply means that your presence is deemed to serve some purpose.

• A meeting is where the most critical and significant information is shared across teams and key decisions are made on mutual consensus and unanimous approvals.

• Make it known to everyone in the forum that each person is expected to contribute.

• Set a clear tone as to who’s responsible for what and by when. If not met make the defaulter run the meetings next time onwards until they see that the expectations are met 100%.(just an idea, can be anything instead that’s bound to the practical feasibility of the system, audience and organization)

• Remind yourself that it's your responsibility to make sure everyone is engaged and energized by the discussions and by the purpose of the meeting.

• Meetings that are regular, focused, appropriate and timely are always welcome for the success of a team and organization on the whole.

• Paying attention to the meeting is probably one of most vital things that many should work on as there could be potentially a lot of take-away’s that we may tend to miss out on!

• Creating an experience that makes each participant to think of your meetings as necessary and valuable could probably be one of the best gifts one can ask for!

To be a true leader, Appreciations at the right time, indication of the issues & identification of risks upfront including corrective measures or suggestions for the same at the right time and right place, to top it all with regular motivational pep talks, nurturing the ownership mentality with in the team and plunging-in to resolve issues by rolling-up your sleeves when the times call for it are all the prerequisites!

When someone is all of the above, automatically the Leader in him rises to a pinnacle and then there are no mistakes after that!

When ten people gather under one roof to discuss ideas, that’s where a lot of Newton’s are reborn, to make it sound more relevant in a Software jargon, let’s get together regularly and without fail to bring out the hidden “Bill Gates” in us!

At the same time, Let’s also throw-in our feedback if a meeting is not effective, Be the first to start it!

For someone wisely said, “Treading the beaten path is no fun, when I can lay my own new road!”

So, Junta please attend your meetings!!!! J

Signing off,
On a Meeting Note

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