What to Ask When You’re Invited to a Meeting

Written by Steve Kaye

Here are five questions that you must ask before agreeing to attend a meeting.

1) Where isrepparttar agenda? A meeting without an agenda is like a journey without a map; it will always waste your time. Once you haverepparttar 134838 agenda, make sure that it consists of more than a list of words because this is almost useless. The agenda for an effective meeting will provide a complete description of howrepparttar 134839 meeting will proceed.

2) What isrepparttar 134840 goal? Isrepparttar 134841 chair seeking an agreement, a solution, or a plan? Knowingrepparttar 134842 goal gives you head start on participating effectively. Be cautious of meetings that are held just “to talk about something,” because this type of meeting seldom accomplishes anything.

3) What is my role? Make sure that your participation adds value torepparttar 134843 meeting. Avoid meetings where you have a superficial role, such as to find out what’s happening. In that case, ask forrepparttar 134844 minutes. If you’re needed to work on only part ofrepparttar 134845 agenda, ask if you can attend only that part ofrepparttar 134846 meeting.

Why Would Anyone Do That in My Meeting?

Written by Steve Kaye

Imagine that you open a meeting by saying, "We need to talk aboutrepparttar budget."

And someone responds with, "I named my dog Budget because everyone tells me he's too big."

Afterrepparttar 134837 laughter subsides, you wonder why anyone would make such a silly remark in your meeting.

And this leads to a larger question: Why would anyone misbehave in a meeting? Taken torepparttar 134838 extreme, misbehavior can ruin a meeting. That wastes everyone's time and squandersrepparttar 134839 opportunity to produce useful results.

Here are some possibilities.

1) They're uninformed

Many people do not know how to plan, conduct, or participate in a meeting. They think that gathering people in a conference room represents holding a meeting. They believe that planning is unnecessary because they expect everyone to arrive with a common agenda. They think that hosting a discussion actually leads to useful results. These well-meaning attempts at holding a meeting are so counterproductive that they can appear to be misbehavior. In addition, a bad meeting irritates others, causing them to retaliate with misbehavior.

Better: Show people how to plan and conduct meetings. Teach them how to use process tools that help people make methodical progress toward results. Schedule a workshop that shows people how to plan and lead meetings. (Call me to talk about my outstanding workshop.)

2) They're bored.

Many meetings occur with a few people talking whilerepparttar 134840 rest watch. When this happens,repparttar 134841 quiet participants entertain themselves by daydreaming, starting side conversations, or working on other tasks (such as preparing lists of things to do oncerepparttar 134842 meeting finally ends). People with extensive experience in bad meetings have learned how to feign credible interest while being mentally absent.

Better: Plan activities that involve everyone. Avoid relying on discussion for your meeting because it allowsrepparttar 134843 more vocal attendees to dominate.

3) They're mad.

People can be mad for many reasons, such as they feel trapped in an unplanned meeting or they disagree withrepparttar 134844 results being obtained. They could also feel mad if others are preventing them from participating.

People know that a meeting without an agenda will waste their time, and they resent this. For example, a man once told me that he and his friends would "sandbag" any meeting that was called without an agenda. They made inappropriate comments, introduced distracting considerations, and asked pointless questions. Of course, they acted with such professional sincerity that it seemed that they were being productive instead of disruptive.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use