The importance of running good meetings has always been essential. In remote communications it’s even more important. Here are the basics from our book as a reminder …
Meeting Basics that Really Make the Difference in Remote Communication
You can decide to have excellent meetings. Even in an environment where meetings are poorly run, you can be the exception. The following guidelines are meeting fundamentals which can help you display executive presence. They’re common principles, which are often violated. The challenge of communicating remotely via audio-conference or video-conference makes the basics even more important!
- Be clear about the purpose of the meeting, even if it is a routine team meeting. Ask if there is a better way to achieve the objective than having a meeting. If it is a regular meeting, can you do it half as often and be just as effective?
- Only invite those that can bring value or have a need to know, and be clear about your expectations.
- Have a timed agenda distributed well in advance of the meeting. If people only need participate for a small segment of the agenda, let them come and go for their time slot. Indicate whether the agenda item is for decision, discussion, or feedback.
- Start and end on time (or early if possible). We know a Vice President who locked the door at the start time of his staff meetings. Anyone who was not there was not able to attend. He only had to do this a few times to make his message clear. Start on time even if not everyone is present, because it is respectful to those who do arrive on time.
- Be clear why each person attends and be clear about his or her role. Even if higher-level people are in the meeting, remember you are running the meeting.
- Stick to the agenda, but promote discussion and debate.
- Bring each point to conclusion, and document the conclusion. If there are follow-up actions, be sure the responsibilities are clear and accepted in the meeting by someone who is in the meeting. If the action is for someone not in attendance, someone present in the meeting should have that action until it is accepted by someone else.
- Make the meeting interesting. Show a movie clip to illustrate your concept or read an email from a satisfied customer. Break up the routine positively.
- Send out minutes with the action items to the meeting participants. Copy those that have a need to know and were not at the meeting.
- Seek feedback from participants on how future meetings could be improved. It demonstrates that you value their time.
Participating In Meetings with Executive Presence:
If you are a participant invited to a meeting, you can ask the organizer about the purpose and your role in the meeting if they have not already offered that information. You can be selective in the meetings you attend (or delegate someone else to attend). Once you decide to attend … participate well. Be a role model for being prepared and engaged in the meeting by doing the following:
- Know what you want to achieve in the meeting.
- Monitor your talk-time to see that you are participating enough without talking too much.
- Pick your battles.
- Continually look at the Other Person’s Point of View (OPPOV™) being demonstrated by the other participants.
- Be as authentically supportive of others in the meeting as possible.
From Seeing Yourself as Others Do Authentic Executive Presence at Any Stage of Your Career by Carol Keers and Thomas Mungavan, 2009.