If you’re part of the corporate world, with a proper 9-5 job, one of the many terms you dread is definitely “Meetings!”. No matter the position you hold, we’ve all been in meetings that have got side-tracked and makes us feel we’re sinking down the proverbial “rat hole,” from which rescue seems impossible. Have you been stuck wondering how and why does it happen? And how can you avoid it? The answer to this is to look out for the different people present in your meeting, and how each of them can turn things upside down. Following are the different types of people you need to watch out for in a meeting:
Some people are just wired to want to ask 35 questions and understand every last detail. Even though it’s in their nature and probably don’t mean to do it, they don’t realize that asking 35 questions is wasting the time of every board member!
A great way to deal with the “Chatty Kathy” type of person is to say, “these are great questions, how about we sit and discuss this post-meeting?” or “These are great questions, but we have an agenda to get through, so let’s just get back to it later”.
“The Grumpy Grinch”
These are people who can’t help but find fault with anything you present. You might have five really positive achievements but his or her mind is wired to find the one thing that didn’t go well. Sometimes if that thing is truly more important than others — fair enough. But if it’s just catching you out for the sake of it to make the grumpy grinch feel good — it may be time to avoid doing that during a meeting.
“The distracted day-dreamer”
We’ve all been on boards with super important businessmen from companies who don’t read the materials in advance or are on their phones so they miss the tenor of the conversation. They ask 101 questions about topics you’ve already covered while they were too busy pondering upon life. But guess what? It happens! However, it’s the CEO’s job, to make sure everyone is on the same page and not waste spending valuable time going through the information that was already available. It is disrespectful to the people who did do the pre-read and pre-call sent before the meeting. If somebody isn’t paying attention the first time you could re-answer the question in the first instance to be polite. However, if it still persists, look back at the “Chatty Kathy” examples and revert back later.
While all these above characters can be easily spotted and avoided to get your meeting following your agenda, it might be a great idea to give the members of the meeting a rough brief, at least 72-hours beforehand. Pre-prep can help anyone achieve their goals faster than they think. This tip can not only be applied in meetings but also in any target you want to reach. Here are a few tips to help you prepare in advance:
- Define what the objective of your meeting is.
- Produce an agenda with very specific items and times associated with them, to the entire team
- Produce a “pre-read” that is distributed at least 72 hours prior to the meeting so all the members may prepare and be present
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