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Make your meetings engaging

Tuesday, 5 February 2013 | By Walid El-Khoury

You will have to be one of the lucky few (or from another planet) if you have not been to a business meeting where you were bored out of your mind, mustering the last bit of energy to keep your eyelids open while pretending to show some interest.

 

Even if you are a sole operator (or own a large business) and have never been blessed with this experience keep reading.

 

I am not going to dwell on the reason why internal business meetings go haywire. And I will not give you the top 10 reasons why meetings are crucial, as there is plenty written on the subject, such as Death By Meeting by Patrick Lencioni.

 

But I want you to answer this…

 

Do you know of a successful and sustainable business (large or small) where regular and frequent meetings are not an important feature in their operation?  If so I would love to know how they do it.

 

Businesses that do not make effective use of meetings are likely to:

  • have no clear vision of where they want to be
  • have no clear business strategy to achieve their vision
  • have neither a vision nor a strategy to start with.

Let me explain

 

By an effective meeting I mean regular two-way communication on successes, hurdles, resources, strategy and direction.

 

Meetings should happen regularly: daily, weekly, quarterly and yearly. The content and length of these meetings depends on how fast your business and/or your business environment is growing or changing.

 

With modern technology the absence of anyone on the day is no reason not to have a meeting – it should only take a short time and can happen online or over the phone.

 

Effective meetings are structured to occur at the right times. For instance, a daily 5-10 min meeting each morning with all your employees can be about the immediate successes, actions and hurdles of the day, while the quarterly or yearly meetings can be more strategic planning to take stock and re-align.

 

So what if you are a sole trader?

 

There’s still no excuse not to have an effective meeting with yourself.

 

This is about looking at your plans regularly and asking “What am I doing today that will bring me that much closer towards my aims?”, “What hurdles am I facing to make the next steps?”

 

You can also take a more strategic meeting with yourself and plan your actions for your quarterly projects, and annual goals, etc.

 

In my Hands Off report I talk about the importance of systems. If you have all your systems in place but without regular and focused meetings to drive them, it is like building a power machine but without the energy to drive it.

 

If systems are the backbone of your business, meetings are its pumping heart. Only if the heart can miss a beat without any consequence, then you can miss a meeting.

(If you would like a copy of my Hands Off report , just send me an email, or subscribe online.)