” Our meetings are held to discuss many problems which would never arise if we held fewer meetings.” – Ashley Brilliant
As those of you that are regular readers of my blogs will know, I’m a big advocate for improving efficiency, and therefore productivity, in meetings. I have covered a lot about what we SHOULD do. How about what we should NOT do?
Here’s a brief list of things that make sense NOT to do to help us improve our meetings.
1. Check our phone continually
You don’t need to know the instant you get an email. Or a text. Or a tweet. Or anything else that pops up on your phone or computer. Looking at our phones for latest text or mail while supposedly listening to someone speak or present is just rude! It makes the people talking feel a lack of interest and focus on the here and now. Let’s switch off phones in meetings and just put them away where we can’t be distracted by them.
There is a secondary issue. Other people also notice.
Don’t have a notebook open on the excuse that it’s being used for notes, when e-mails and the internet is also being accessed. Again, those of you that read my blogs will know my views on multitasking. The easiest way to be the smartest person in the room is to be the person who pays the most attention to the room.
You’ll be amazed by what you can learn, both about the topic of the meeting and about the people in the meeting if you stop multitasking and start paying close attention. You’ll flush out and understand hidden agendas, you’ll spot opportunities to build bridges, and you’ll find ways to make yourself indispensable to the people who matter.
Stay in the present! Focus and listen and comment.
4. Say “yes” when we really mean “no.”
Refusing a request from colleagues, customers, or even friends is really hard. But rarely does saying “no” go as badly as you expect. Most people will understand; and if they don’t, should you care too much about what they think?
When you say “no,” at least you’ll only feel bad for a few moments. When you say “yes” to something you really don’t want to do, you might feel bad for a long time–or at least as long as it takes you to do what you didn’t want to do in the first place.
Meetings play such a key part in our daily business lives, we owe it to ourselves and others to make them more efficient and productive. These 4 DON’T should help that process! Let me know if you have any others we could use!