Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ensure You're Always Prepared For That Meeting

Does anyone ever actually ‘enjoy’ the process of meetings? It can often feel like a lion's den, no matter where on the hierarchy you are. Making the effort to be assertive and have your voice heard while also listening to everyone else is a valuable skill in balance, and sometimes, your colleagues do not possess that. Of course, meetings aren’t as horrific as they’re made out to be.

A simple weekly roundup can be enlightening, or a celebratory meeting can be satisfying to experience. But sometimes, you need to defend your corner, or you need to put forward a game plan you think is truly going to make the difference. To that extent, you need to be prepared. Much like a police officer questioning a suspect and placing every small element of evidence on the table, when it comes to the important meetings, you can’t afford to leave any stone unturned.

Thankfully, this is achievable. With a good amount of preparation and no small amount of self-belief, you can ace each and every meeting you attend. Let us consider how:

Have The Right Documents on Hand

It’s important to have the right documents on hand before you present anything at a meeting. This is because if you’re not careful, you can be referring to matters that you might understand, but that others aren’t quite aware of. From department to department awareness might differ, and other colleagues may not have put in the same time to a subject as you have. Even if you don’t need them, having backup materials can be important, either printed in a folder with handouts or on a tablet you can bring in. The ability to edit PDF files can also be useful here, as you can customize certain documents to their most prescient points for clarity.

Be Punctual

Being on time for the meeting, ideally even five minutes before, can help you remain in the loop. Not only that, but part of a meeting is about visibility and attentiveness. If you know you have a big meeting in the morning, perhaps set off thirty minutes beforehand to get to the office on time, instead of dealing with an unfortunate amount of traffic that forces you to arrive ten minutes late and miss some pressing introductory points. It might sound obvious, but remaining punctual can certainly be a big deal here.

Ask Questions

It’s not enough to simply accept everything being said. If you feel you do not understand you may ask for further clarification later. Or it might be you wish to challenge someone’s summary with your own ideal. If you phrase this in a manner that seems non-confrontational but inquisitive your colleagues will often be more than happy to further clarify, or potentially elaborate more on the point. So long as you don’t do this for every single point brought up you will be seen as contributing to the meeting (providing it’s within your role to,) and can generally help a higher standard of conversation flow.

With this advice, you’ll always be prepared for that meeting.

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