Meet The Meeting Head On: Preparing for Great Meetings

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On August 10, 2015

Meet-the-meeting-head-on-preparing-for-great-meetingsBusiness meetings are an essential component of business success. And yet, most businesspeople I meet have a less-than-favorable view of meetings. Apparently they’re not alone. While promoting their recently released book, The Real Life MBA, Jack and Suzy Welch spoke to thousands of businesspeople, and in virtually every session these people complained about business meetings.

In a recent interview Jack talked about this issue—and made some suggestions for improving one’s attitude about meetings by asking a few key post-meeting questions.

But what if you could prepare yourself (and your attitude) before the meeting takes place? What if you could meet the meeting head on—and impact the outcome? Here are a few questions you should ask if you want to be part of making a meeting a great meeting.

  • Am I going into the meeting with a positive attitude that will energize others? Attitude matters. You don’t have to be “gung ho” or “drinking the corporate Kool-Aid” but if you approach the meeting with the expectation of getting things done it makes a big difference.
  • Am I prepared to ask great questions? Just showing up doesn’t contribute anything. But if you’re prepared for the meeting by being informed about the topics, you can ask good, helpful, constructive questions.
  • Am I ready to offer ideas? You’re not there just to listen or to complain (even silently). Have you thought about ways to solve a problem the company is facing? Maybe your idea won’t be the one that gets used, but it may serve as a springboard for a better idea.
  • Do I have data to back up my opinions and ideas? People can argue about plans and ideas all day long. If you have data to back up your position, it allows you to make a better case. And it provides something against which you can measure the success of your plans and ideas in the future.
  • Am I prepared to listen to other people’s thoughts and ideas and build on them? Chances are you don’t have a monopoly on ideas or suggestions. You are a part of a team.
  • Am I heading into the meeting prepared to make a difference and to help the team make key decisions? Again, this requires being prepared for the meeting by having a working knowledge of the topics to be discussed—or at least some good questions about the topics.

These questions are important ones for you as a leader to ask (and answer). But they are also key questions for your employees to ask and answer. Imagine what your meetings could be like if everyone came prepared to make a difference—and saw it as their responsibility to do so.

Drop me a note in the comments section and let me know what a great meeting looks like in your situation.