Meetings can be good for you!

Meetings are perfect grounds for learning, if used well!

When you start looking at meetings as learning opportunities, you can definitely notice the array of skills that meetings will help you hone.

  • Punctuality : start and end meetings on time, stick to topics and time limits
  • Planning: every meeting is to be planned. Right from who will attend, who will take notes, the discussion points to take up, the actions to remind and the decisions to be made – everything has to be done in the time frame allotted.
  • Note-taking: Taking notes is an art. Summarising a 60 minute meeting into a minute’s read is an art. You would have to cover all the major points, the nuances, the actions and the decision clearly. One of my customer bosses in the UK taught me to make notes and I have been an expert minutes taker ever since! We make the mistake of delegating this to the youngest one in the room – big mistake! The minutes guy is the most powerful one in the room!
  • Memory: you will be forced to remember the precedents and the various conversations. Context recollections and following up on action items are fun activities, especially when you are leading huge programs.
  • Listening skills: immerse yourself in the multiple conversations that happen, yet keep a track of the individual threads that happen. Understand the tone used, gauge the language used and watch for any escalations or scenarios that might need intervention!
  • Assertiveness: from guiding the meeting well, to enforcing meeting rules, you got to be assertive in the room. People have to have an update on their actions, timelines have to be respected and there shouldn’t be any domination in the room. Everyone should be free to speak their mind and at the same time, disciplined to not stray!
  • Network: in bigger projects, especially, you will be meeting and guiding many senior individuals across the organization. You will be required to introduce people, make sure they understand the context well, are able to contribute their bits and most importantly understand their role in the bigger scheme of things.
  • Coordination: you can be the person who brings it all together. From individuals to projects, you will be the one with the bigger picture finely sorted and will assist everyone to have the same level of clarity.
I love making my meetings count - get real work done in meetings! All the best!

Meetings aren’t an alternative to work as it is largely made out. Rather, it is fundamental to getting people together and ensuring they work well together!