Meetings, productive meetings, tools and techniques

Following on from my last post I’d like to spend some time discussing meetings.  Meetings for me make up a high proportion of my working day. 

My Meetings

They are a combination of:

  • meetings with people I’m working with on collaborative solutions
  • team meetings or 1-to-1 meetings with team members
  • meetings informing colleagues in other teams about what we are doing
  • meetings with colleagues about new business or business expansion
  • meetings with customers

In terms of the type of meetings I’d estimate the following split:

  • 50% audio conference
  • 40% web conference
  • 9% face to face meeting
  • 1% video conference [likely to rise]

In terms of geography my meetings are probably split in the following proportions:

  • 25% UK
  • 3% EMEA
  • 20% India
  • 50% North America
  • 2% Australia

Those last percentages are a little finger in the air as many calls are cross region.

Ensuring meetings are productive

Due to my role I have to assess the benefit I will gain, or the other attendees will gain from my attendance.  I also have to prioritise meetings and as such run a form of triage rather than first come first serve.  So when I am planning a meeting or receiving an invite I like to supply the following information:

  • Aims of the meeting
  • Agenda
  • Supporting information and documents
  • The web conference to be available 15 minutes before to allow people to join without delaying the start of the meeting.

When running meetings I try to use the following rules:

  • Follow the agenda.
  • Include quiet participants and actively ask for their input.
  • Allow discussion and debate [but ensure this doesn’t impact the meeting schedule]
  • Regularly summarise actions
  • Take notes and record actions in OneNote
  • Use web meetings whenever possible especially when discussing documents
  • Always remember the disadvantaged participant.  If you run a physical meeting and have people remotely dialled in your should allow those people to control the meeting.  The spider phone on the table is too easily forgotten!
  • Close with actions against each participant and get their acknowledgement.
  • Final round the table is important.

How I use OneNote

I think this will be my next post….

Web meeting tools

Another post …

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