Friday, March 31, 2017

Lemonade anyone?

Image result for making lemons out of lemonade
We have all been there, stuck in yet another meeting or conference call. As a matter of fact as a TSH client you would have an automatic monthly call with your account analyst.  But often people don't see these meetings as a valuable tool. Rather they see it a a waste of your most precious resource, TIME...

So today's post includes a few great ways to get the most our your meetings (or any meetings) and make lemonade out of lemons.. 

1. Treat everyone's time as valuable.

The next time you have a conference call, try thinking like an entrepreneur. Estimate the hourly rate of those attending the call, and see if there’s a more efficient use of their time to get to the result you need. remember everyone in the meeting has valuable time, so listen but also remind people how much you are spending in dollars and cents to have this meeting. 

2. Be engaged and be Involved.

No playing on your cell phone, checking emails etc, no dosing off, and be prepared to answer a question at any time. Or ask a question if you are not clear , make the point and clarify what you don't understand or don't agree with. 

3. Know your goals , and work towards them. 

Meetings are meant for two things, to move results forward or to build relationships. Be clear on your objectives. Are you there to make a specific decision? Are you working to gain buy-in to a change? Knowing why you have each item on the agenda will go a long way to keeping the meeting on track.

4. Not everyone has to get invited to the party.

This one if for my wife, No NOT everyone needs to be at every meeting or social event. When you’re considering flying people in for a meeting, you take a lot of thought to the time out of the field and the expense involved. Don’t let “It’s just a conference call” suck you into a trap of over-inclusion. That kind of thinking compounds quickly. Remember rule #1 as well. 

5. Organize and Conquer, segment your meetings. 

Use a narrowing agenda. Arrange the more general topics up front and then let people drop off as the topics become more specific. Explain what you’re doing and why in advance, so you don’t get people riled up about secret meetings. If you are concerned about certain people be sure that it’s not always the same people invited to drop first. 

6. Set a Schedule and Stick to it. 

Weekly/Monthly check-in calls are great, but mostly because discussion expands to fill the time, when a quick discussion could do. If a regularly scheduled call is important for your team or project, craft the agenda and estimate the time you think you will need. State that intention up front. “Our agenda for today should only last about 30 minutes. Let’s be as productive as possible”. There is no sin in setting up another meeting.

Done well, conference calls can be an effective and efficient way to get the results you need. A little extra planning can save hours of lost time and productivity.

Meeting up soon?

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