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Business Meeting Etiquette Conducting a Professional and Productive Meeting

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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