Meetings are a vital part of a manager’s daily routine. The number of meetings you have booked on your calendar defines the level of your importance in the corporate food chain and is a good indicator of your future potential in the organization. Therefore, every aspiring manager must do his bit to expand the number of office meetings and extend their duration.
Here are the 7 tips to help you in this endeavor:
- Never send out any materials before the meeting. If the meeting participants read the materials in advance, they may come up with a decision too soon, and the meeting will end prematurely – or will not be required at all.
- Do not include an agenda with the meeting invitation. That could disclose your objective and potentially reduce the probability of a broad and unpredictable discussion.
- Book ample time to make sure that the meeting will be able to accommodate any agenda – when and if you finally have it.
- Invite as many people as possible. This makes your meeting look more important, and gives an opportunity to numerous colleagues to feel their personal significance.
- Never start on time. You must realize that most of the attendees have been to another meeting and need time for a cigarette in between. If they are still late, do not make a federal case of it, because you have invited some extra people, and you will finish late anyway.
- Do not interrupt people going off on a tangent. That may insult some speakers and kill another interesting discussion.
- Never take any notes that will allow to follow up on the meeting or to understand who is responsible for any decisions taken.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. Over the years, every manager builds and customizes his own toolbox, diligently collecting and honing his tools and techniques. If you have any tips that you could share, add them in the comments below.
This text, printed out on a single page, helps me as a conversation starter with my clients, when I coach them on the ways to bring their teams’ performance and engagement to the new level.