Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Best Meeting I Ever Attended

Yes, there was only one...and it really was the best meeting I ever attended. It was well organized, had a clear agenda, stayed within each topic's timelines, engaged every attendee (all 75 of them!), and delivered a high quality work product at the end.

It was the best meeting I ever attended. And now I lament the fact that my master list of "best" meetings  is so short that even thinking about mentioning a "couple of best meetings" feels like I'm lying through my teeth.

Shouldn't All Meeting Be That Good
No, they shouldn't. The meeting I'm talking about was special, with a diverse group of attendees. It had strategy, emotional stories, clearly defined objectives, and passion. A boat load of passion. Most meetings are not intended to change the (organization's) world. Most meetings are meant to keep organizations on track...moving forward...reporting out results...sharing ideas...communicating information...right?

Oh yes, and then there's the other 75% of meetings that suck.

Hating On Meetings
Okay, I'm a meeting-hater who spends the overwhelming majority of every business day in meetings. I'm a pretty organized guy, but that doesn't mean I'm always perfectly prepared. I'm guilty as sin of  not holding others accountable when meetings drift and meander, but that doesn't mean I don't actively participate in every meeting.

What's a meeting-hater to do? Stop going? Stop scheduling? Stop participating?

Hating on the Meeting-Hater
When I think about that special meeting one key point seems to keep coming back to me. No matter how I try to twist the truth, or write my own revisionist meeting history, I can't avoid the reality. I was fired up going in to that session. I felt like the outcome of that meeting depended on me...personally...doing a good job.

I was one of the meeting organizers, I had an important role to play before, during and after. This meeting meant something to me. 

Hmm. I wonder if I took that same approach with every meeting I attend if they might go better? Maybe my energy, enthusiasm, preparedness, and commitment could change the outcome of the meetings that I so easily feel comfortable hating? I wonder if my colleagues and team members would notice?

How About You
Have you ever been to a meeting? If you have, and particularly if you've attended more than one, you may have noticed that not all meetings are the same. Maybe if you and I commit to making each one effective we might just change the world? Or, at least our organizations.

I'd love to hear from you

No Excuses.


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