It’s possible to have the impression that there is no need to prepare for a meeting or be involved in one. While this may be true for you, I certainly believe that there is a role for everyone to play before and during a meeting to feel involved. Meetings may be viewed as those “annoying” group discussions we were once involved in at some point or the other in our lives.
Most times, educational institutions tend to include group presentations in the curriculum. This necessarily leads to group discussions pending the date of presentations. I remember having to be involved in several of these group “thingy” and having to be frustrated at some point or the other. I later discovered that one thing is to understand the personality of members of each group. A reason why institutions involve group meetings is also to give you a feel of the workforce. I appreciate it now that I understand better.
The bottom line remains that most workplaces will likely have regular meetings no matter how informal. In the light of this, isn’t it better to learn how to convene and have a productive meeting? Wouldn’t it be better for you to feel involved?
Anyways, let’s not miss the major point of this blog post. I am just trying to let you understand that those group discussions you were involved in can also be likened to a workplace meeting. If this upsets you, I am not necessarily surprised. I thought I was done with those group discussions initially until I started my first job and realized that I wasn’t. It is also necessary to keep in mind that as annoying as some meetings may be they tend to be useful and important in the long run. As boring as they may seem, some important details might have been left out by you while you dozed off for a while. So the best thing to do is to plan ahead to avoid feeling excluded.
If it is going to be helpful eventually, shouldn’t you seek a way to help make things run through? I certainly think so! You may be involved in a meeting that is formal or informal, in person or through technological means, either way, it’s a meeting! The same rules apply. In one way or the other, you will certainly have to relate a meeting to teamwork, for it to be successful.
Here are ways to help you get ready and feel useful at your next meeting;
Before the meeting
- Determine your Role
Consider if you are the one to run the meeting or whether you are just a participant. Will you be taking down minutes? Will you have to make a presentation? Are you supposed to give feedback on prior assignments?
At this stage remind yourself of your primary role at the meeting. If you are simply a participant you want to review actions you were to take at the previous meeting if any. Also, familiarize yourself with the names of attendees and their roles at the meeting.
If you are the one running the meeting, please apply the following tips to sooth your individual and specific role.
- Go through the Agenda
Take out time to read through the agenda and remind yourself of your major role at the meeting. Whatever the case may be, go through the agenda and the previous minutes to refresh your memory. You should do this at least a day to the meeting.
Again, familiarize yourself with the names of attendees irrespective of your role at the meeting. You do not want to attend the meeting not knowing the names of other members. It will be weird and embarrassing especially if it is an important meeting. Although every meeting is important.
Confirm the date, time and location of the meeting. Update your calendar and set up reminder if possible. If the meeting will hold somewhere outside the office, google the map and or directions to get to the venue and determine how soon you need to leave your location to the venue of the meeting. If not, ensure you are certain about the room the meeting will hold in.
4. Prepare Documents
You want to print out documents you may need and keep it handy. Technology is here to stay, so if you have it on a tablet or your laptop, then that is even better as long as you will feel comfortable reading from the device. All that is important is that you gather the documents early enough so that you don’t forget anything important. You may also take along with you a pen and paper if necessary, to take notes.
During the meeting
No one is going to eat you up at the meeting if you already did your homework as discussed earlier. Preparation is key to prevent you from being caught unaware. I remember my very first meeting, I was so tensed up that during rounds of introduction I immediately forgot my position at the company. How silly of me! I later realized that it was because I was unnecessarily tensed up. So you want to relax during the meeting. Listen attentively and remember to take a cup of coffee, any drink or water along with you. Just so that you feel relaxed and can ake a sip every once in a while.
Depending on the intent of the meeting, you need to ensure that you contribute so that the meeting will be successful. Share ideas and brainstorm. Take notes even if you are not the official person to transcribe. You never know when it will be needed. Write out actions you need to carry out before the next meeting.
There are so many things to consider when it comes to meetings that relate to the workplace. From time to time, I will post relevant articles that deal with meetings. I hope that your next meeting will be a successful one and that you feel involved as well.
Feel free to make comments, suggestions and ask questions if you need to. I will respond as soon as possible. Please subscribe to the blog to stay updated and you are welcome to follow me on social platforms.