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Take ownership of your meeting experience

| April 19, 2011

by Jim Bruce

The reading today, “Take ownership of your meeting experience”, appeared in the blog and comes from the keyboard of Danuta McCall, a senior member of the team. 

The reading’s key point is that we, each as individual participants in a meeting, play a role in whether that meeting is successful or not.  We do this through four choices:

1.  You choose whether or not to attend the meeting.  Yes, sometimes attendance is mandatory.  But, in other instances, we can ask whether our presence is needed?  Why are we needed, etc.  And, we don’t have to look at meeting attendance as an all-or-nothing event.  Perhaps it would be possible to attend only that portion of the meeting where you can add value.

2.  You choose whether or not to be prepared for the meeting.  Well prepared meetings will get the agenda and any materials that need to be reviewed to participants well in advance of the meeting.  If it doesn’t happen, it is entirely appropriate to ask for them.  Then, you still have the choice whether to invest in the meeting being a good one through your preparation.  You choose.  If you choose not to prepare then you are willing to waste your time and that of your fellow participants.

3.  You choose whether to be engaged or actively multi-tasking.  Here you have to be responsible for your own behavior.  Turn off your hand-held, pay attention, take notes, be active in the discussion, help keep the conversation on topic.

4.  You choose whether or not to provide honest feedback on the meeting.  This can be done via a plus/delta exercise at the end of the meeting, or by private communication with the meeting’s owner, the facilitator, individuals who made presentations, etc.  But, the meeting won’t get better unless there is an active process for making it better.

We all have more meetings than we can afford to have.  It’s our individual responsibility to make them better – more focused, with more results, shorter, etc.  

Will you do your part in this campaign?


Have a great week.  .  .  .   jim