I have to admit that I used to get very nervous, that I was unable to go to a work visit trustful and relaxed because I was afraid of that technical detail that appeared suddenly at the meeting and for which I, after all, could not go well prepared.
Others, however, arrived excessively calm, with their hands in their pockets and their sandwich under their arms.
It took me years to assume that many of them didn’t care about those meetings, that they were just going to hang out.
And I didn’t want to see it like that, because that would have been confessing that I was wasting hours of my time. Systematically, as if I had excess.
There came a time when I decided to establish a series of guidelines, which since then I always try to do, with the aim that the meeting be practical, that all those who participate come prepared and, as far as I am concerned, that the fewest possible details escape me. In short, make it productive:
The first and foremost: is this meeting really necessary? Because certainly, many things can be solved with a crossing of emails between those involved. Or, if you want to be more technological, using Google Docs, Dropbox Business, or similar.
Regarding this, throughout my professional life I have lived projects in which somebody tried to generate the habit of having visits at the construction site every Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, … In my opinion, one more excuse to go to lunch (which, if it comes to making relationships, there are also other more direct means).
On the other hand, the Covid has taught us that there are a lot of online tools to be able to see us and work as a team without leaving home or office. It is not necessary to waste time in mentioning any here, because in recent years we have all had to use some of them.
But, if after all that has been said, it is understood that the meeting on site is essential, it is necessary to define who should be there and who is not necessary. In this case, the fewer people have to go, the lighter the resolution of the issues to be discussed will be.
And someone has to direct the party and inform the agenda, points to be discussed and necessary actors. Ah! And set the time of entry and exit.
I’m not even talking about punctuality and the phone turned off …
At the level of each involved, it will be greatly appreciated that he has prepared his topic, explanations, presentations, doubts and problems. I love meetings where things are raised, debated, decisions made and recorded in minutes. And they are no longer talked about except to see how they have been finished.
And speaking of writing down, once the meeting is over, someone also has to summarize what was agreed upon and transmit it to all those involved. Here again, email, Google Docs, etcetera.
To finish, I will say that I believe that applications such as WhatsApp or Telegram do not help me to manage work meetings, not even as substitutes for email, although there are those who create groups with different workers to share information. Of this, perhaps, I will talk later in another post.
I hope my reflections have been useful to you. If you have any more ideas to contribute, I would be grateful if you could tell me by email. I promise to answer.