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Business Meeting Etiquette Conducting a Professional and Productive Meeting Michelle Gottschalk, P.E. Construction Technical Support Director, INDOT November 20, 2013. The Facts. Executives spend 75% of their time in meetings (“How to Win the Meeting” – Frank Snell)

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Business Meeting Etiquette

Conducting a Professional and Productive Meeting

Michelle Gottschalk, P.E.

Construction Technical Support Director, INDOT

November 20, 2013

The facts
The Facts

  • Executives spend 75% of their time in meetings (“How to Win the Meeting” – Frank Snell)

  • More than 70% of executives feel that most of the meetings they attend are a waste of time (Success Magazine)

  • 67% said they attended more meetings this year than last year (Success Magazine)

The bad news
The Bad News

  • “I wish this meeting would end so I could get some actual work done.”

  • Unfortunately, meetings are prone to fall into nonproductive pitfalls.

    • Meetings may not have focus.

    • Agencies/companies have too many meetings.

    • Attendees may be unprepared.

    • Most meeting time is wasted.

The good news
The Good News

  • Employees benefit in several ways when a meeting is run well.

    • Meetings are a great opportunity to communicate.

    • Meetings develop work and leadership skills.

    • Meetings are empowering.

    • Meetings are morale boosting.

The benefits
The Benefits

  • Effective meetings work as a success engine

    • The employees use them as a reliable tool to get answers and achieve results.

    • Each success motivates to them to work harder.

The benefits1
The Benefits

  • Effective meetings maximize productivity

    • When people work as a team, they become more creative and more productive than any one individual.

    • Good meetings free people to move ahead on the core activities that produce results.

The benefits2
The Benefits

  • Effective meetings empower people

    • Pride and ownership

The benefits3
The Benefits

  • Effective meetings breed reliability and loyalty

    • People are attracted to leaders who help them.

The benefits4
The Benefits

  • Effective meetings create success

    • A good meeting requires all of the elements of effective leadership

      • Establishes good practices for use throughout the workday

      • Serves as an excellent teaching venue to develop future leaders

        • Many leaders use meetings to identify future leaders.

        • Creates opportunity

          • Someone who consistently contributes to effective meetings demonstrates skills to lead challenging opportunities.

The benefits5
The Benefits

  • Success expands good practices

    • Result is expanding excellence

The how
The How

  • So, what does it take to make meetings effective???

10 simple rules
10 Simple Rules

  • 1. RSVP and Arrival

    • RSVP determines:

      • Required meeting space

      • Agenda

      • Possible need to reschedule

    • Arrival

      • Arrive a few minutes early.

      • Late arrivers should phone ahead.

      • Leader should start on time.

        • Do not wait for late arrivers

10 simple rules1
10 Simple Rules

  • 2. Meeting Purpose

    • Meeting leader should circulate a meeting AGENDA in advance

      • Participants should express concerns about the agenda to the meeting leader ahead of the meeting

      • Agenda items should be a list of objectives not discussion points

        • “Begin with the end in mind”

      • Agenda should mention the meeting's start and ending times

10 simple rules2
10 Simple Rules

  • 2. Meeting Purpose cont.

    • Good reasons for NOT conducting meetings

      • Other alternatives would be just as effective

        • Would a phone call, conference call, email, casual conversation work just as well?

        • Can a decision be secured from one person without a meeting?

        • Can one person help as opposed to a group?

      • There is no time to properly prepare

      • Key people are not available

      • Timing is not right

      • Desired results are not expected

      • Costs outweigh benefits

10 simple rules3
10 Simple Rules

  • 3. Be Prepared

    • Ensure meeting is “right-sized”.

    • Ensure minutes are assigned to a recorder prior to the meeting.

    • Have enough agendas and handouts available on the table.

10 simple rules4
10 Simple Rules

  • 3. Be Prepared cont.

    • Organizer should circulate a sign-in sheet

      • Sheet should include title info

      • Copy should go to all attendees

    • Each participant should come to the meeting with all of the materials she will need and an understanding of the meeting topic.

      • Always bring a notebook and pen

    • Leader should make certain there is a proper introduction of all attendees

      • Don’t assume everyone knows each other

10 simple rules5
10 Simple Rules

  • 4. Keep the Meeting and Attendees Focused

    • Stick to the agenda – have clear focus.

    • Have fewer (but better) meetings.

    • Leader should seek regular input to keep the discussion alive and participation strong

10 simple rules6
10 Simple Rules

  • 5. Attire and Conduct

    • Dress appropriately and professionally

      • No matter your roll, appearance and conduct at a meeting should convey professionalism…you are there for a reason!

10 simple rules7
10 Simple Rules

  • 5. Attire and Conduct cont.

    • Give your attention to the speaker

      • Avoid side conversations while the meeting is going on.

10 simple rules8
10 Simple Rules

  • 5. Attire and Conduct cont.

    • Don't repeat what someone else in the meeting has already said to take credit for it!

      • It's a time-waster, and

      • Everyone in the room knows what you're doing

10 simple rules9
10 Simple Rules

  • 5. Attire and Conduct cont.

    • Don't escalate your voice to talk over a colleague.

      • There is time for everyone’s constructive input

10 simple rules10
10 Simple Rules

  • 5. Attire and Conduct cont.

    • Body language is important

      • Stay attentive and engaged

      • Take notes

      • Acknowledge points

    • Leader should express appreciation for all constructive input

10 simple rules11
10 Simple Rules

  • 6. Speaking

    • Keep the meeting organized and respectful by only speaking when you have the floor.

      • Ask questions during the designated question period, and raise your hand to be recognized by the leader as having the floor.

      • Keep your questions succinct and clear.

      • Do not interrupt someone while they are speaking or asking a question.

    • Don’t be AFRAID to ask questions!

10 simple rules12
10 Simple Rules

  • 7. Pay Attention!

    • You may find that many of the questions you have about a topic are answered by the content of the meeting.

    • Paying attention keeps you engaged.

    • Paying attention saves time.

    • Attend the entire meeting.

10 simple rules13
10 Simple Rules

  • 8. Cell Phones and Laptops

    • Turn off your cell phone prior to the start of the meeting.

    • Unless laptop computers have been approved for the meeting, turn yours off and lower the screen so that you do not obstruct anyone's view.

10 simple rules14
10 Simple Rules

  • 9. Meeting “Guests”

    • Do not bring unannounced guests to a meeting.

    • Do not forward Outlook invites without permission from the meeting leader

10 simple rules15
10 Simple Rules

  • 10. Capture and Assign Action Items

    • Actions items should be set before meeting is adjourned

      • Helps assure completion

      • Helps set date for next meeting

      • Complete tasks assigned to you as expeditiously as possible

    • File meeting notes and minutes

      • Future reference

      • Preparation for future meetings

        • Meeting minutes should be available to attendees within 72 hours of the meeting

Be a true leader
Be a True Leader

  • Watch out for meeting dominators

  • Eliminate intimidation and fear

Be a true leader1
Be a True Leader

  • Be vulnerable – if you do not know, say so, apologize for mistakes, etc.!

  • Encourage the objective of seeking meaning and truth not presenting own opinion at any cost

    • Thank participants for good ideas

Be a true leader2
Be a True Leader

  • Leaders must think like coaches and take the mindset of winning through others.

  • Leaders must possess the ability genuinely take joy in others’ successes.

    • Seek out ways to find success in the success of others

Be a true leader3
Be a True Leader

  • Whether or not you are a true leader can determine success or failure

    • Decision

    • Meeting

    • Project

    • Team

    • Office

    • Company

Applications to utility coordination1
Applications to Utility Coordination

  • Difficult coordination requires successful communication

  • Successful communication begins with productive meetings

    • Best laid plans are doomed to failure without good communication with ALL parties involved

Applications to utility coordination2
Applications to Utility Coordination

  • Value input

    • Involve utilities EARLY

    • Listen closely to problems to understand a solution

    • Consider all solutions offered

      • First approach should be to avoid utilities when feasible

      • Weigh the costs and benefits of each

  • Take good notes/minutes

    • Valuable reference later on for solutions and agreements reached

Applications to utility coordination3
Applications to Utility Coordination

  • Give utilities a reason to be there

    • Outline utility related goals on agenda

    • Be prepared with good information for them

    • Approach as a partnership

      • Discuss alternatives, not “Here’s the plans, now move.”

      • Seek endorsement from all parties on the plan