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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Sep 17, 2019

Have Another Meeting?

By Glen J. Dalakian Sr.

glen dalakian CSAV systems

How many meetings are enough? At times, even the word “meeting” can garner a negative reaction for some. When you tell a subordinate, “We need to have a meeting,” you often get a look like they were just sent to the principal’s office. Are business meetings important? Certainly, yes. Can they be drawn-out, overdone, draining and even counterproductive? Absolutely!

Meetings should be management opportunities, where people can interact and share their thoughts in a receptive and professional, yet relaxed environment. They also need to have clear purpose and obvious value to all who participate. Planning with an agenda as well as allowing the attendees to understand the format and goals of the time invested together is critical.

But too often, meetings can have a negative impact. When we allow meetings to be the default to true leadership, they get boring. In some cases, attendees resent wasting time when meetings are had just for the sake of it and do not bring the participants to higher ground. Don’t fall into the meetings trap, but learn to use this valuable tool to benefit all involved. Here are a few pointers on having a productive meeting:

1) Only schedule a meeting when really needed. Some people confuse “meetings” with “managing” or “leading,” and in many cases, they are neither. Be sure you have substance and gather people together out of “purpose,” not based on schedule availability.

2) Be brief and to the point. I once heard, “The mind can only absorb as long as the butt can endure.” Meetings should have a timeline and, in most cases, kept to an hour or less.

3) Have three key points and deliver them with repetition. People are not good at remembering streams of information. They tend to focus on a few presentation topics and remember those best.

4) Engage your team. Don’t let meetings become a one-way spew of information. Involve each person at some level. Group participation often reveals innovations and thoughtful options.

5) Whatever is learned in these meetings, act on it. Use the points gathered in the exchange, and show people that something productive came from the time spent together.

6) Keep meetings intimate and in smaller groups. There are times for lectures or largescale training, but meetings are a more direct way to lead and share with those you work with to bring mutual success. It’s easier to address a smaller group and show you care more about the individuals sitting around you.

As a note, I often use alternate terms, when possible, for scheduling meetings. When speaking to clients or colleagues, I’ll use terms like, “Let’s get together,” “We will be gathering at…” or “How about if we do this at…” However you phrase it, do yourself and those who attend a favor by making your meetings productive, concise and meaningful for all.

“Never have a meeting where two pizzas couldn’t feed the entire group.”  – Jeff Bezos