By Alan Graner
“Meetings are at the heart of an effective organization, and each meeting is an opportunity to clarify issues, set new directions, sharpen focus, create alignment, and move objectives forward.”
“Meetings at work present great opportunities to showcase your talent. Do not let them go to waste.”
Think of business meetings as a game and, like any game, there are rules. Here are 10 rules for mastering business meetings extracted from Guts: Advertising from the Inside Out by John Lyons.
- Know who will be in the meeting. This is more important than what will be said.
- If your manager doesn’t like your ideas, get her to admit it so you can cut the meeting short and get on to other things.
- Call your counterpart or next-level manager and get their ideas and concerns before the meeting so you can anticipate events and how the meeting will go. This will wow your colleagues.
- Truly listen instead of faking it. It’s amazing what you can find out.
- Learn how to interpret gestures and grunts. They can speak volumes.
- Whenever someone utters some vague nonsense like “we should keep our options open”, ask him to expand on this thought or send a memo expanding his idea.
- If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. If you guess an answer, people will hold you to it.
- Don’t fly solo. Get others to help you and spread the credit.
- If you want people to respect your opinion, wait until someone asks what you think. Give a short, insightful answer. Then shut up.
- Use terror tactics. Sometimes you can scare people into action. Start with something like “If I were the competition I’d….” Most decisions are based on fear anyway.
What would you add to this list?
Image: Public domain under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the U.S. Code.
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA business public relations and marketing content firm. For content that makes you stand out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.dsprel.com.