Managers, don’t run bad meetings

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 By Jack Nevison

When was the last time you were stuck in a business meeting that you truly hated? Do you remember the reasons why? Was it because the leader seemed ill-prepared for the discussion? Perhaps the meeting was poorly managed, allowing participants to veer off topic frequently.

Any project manager who has ever suffered through a bad meeting should make sure not to make the same mistakes.

In a recent article for The Virginia Pilot, contributor Philip Walzer writes that the best leaders hold meetings that are brief yet informative, deliberative yet productive.

First, he highly recommends that leaders craft meeting agendas and send them to attendees at least 24 to 48 hours before the actual meeting occurs. This will alert participants as to what will be discussed and give them time to properly prepare.

He also warns against talking about anything that isn't on the agenda. Walzer quotes consultant Jessica Pryce-Jones, who asks, "Have you ever heard of anyone complaining after a meeting: 'That was so darn short?' It just doesn't happen. Make them love you by not including something extra."

Finally, Walzer emphasizes the importance of arriving at meetings on time. Company executives may feel that they have certain privileges, but they should always respect other people's time. If anything, this sends a company-wide message that tardiness is acceptable.

New Leaf's humorous white paper, "How Not to Run a Meeting," offers some handy tips on how to improve your meeting skills. In addition, our QPM games let you learn while you earn PDU credits for PMP recertification.

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