Karim Kabbaj

Karim Kabbaj
IT Leader, Entrepreneur
& Crypto Enthusiast
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Making the most of your meetings

July 09, 2018

Everyone knows that meetings can be very productive. However, not all meetings rank the same on the productivity scale. Here are some things you can do to ensure that the meetings you attend make the most of your time.

Review the Agenda before the meeting
This is important because it helps you prepare. If you attend a meeting without doing your prep work, you end up leaving it for a follow-up meeting. Preparing lets you get ahead of the game and ensure that you get all the answers you need up front.

Make sure you have the right participants
Reviewing the agenda can help you on this step. If you see the topics they plan to discuss, also review the attendees to ensure all the appropriate people are in the room. Failing to do so is a lot like not being prepared, it guarantees a follow-up meeting and ensures that you will have a room full of questions, and little answers.

Don't schedule meetings longer than 1hr
If you have a meeting planned, keep it at 1hr or less. Going beyond that will ensure you start losing your participant's attention. It also increases the likelihood that someone will be pulled out for another meeting that's "more important" than yours. If the topic is large, than your first meeting should be about breaking the topic up into manageable chunks, proritized. You can then set up 1hr meetings to cover those topics individually, indepth.

Capture Action Items
This is huge because it's the part that get's things done. Before leaving a meeting, make sure it's clear who, will be doing what, and by when. Share that information in the form of meeting minutes to ensure everyone is aware of the assigned goals.

Demonstrate Proper Meeting Etiquette
Be mindful of your body language when talking to people. Don't roll your eyes if you disagree with a point. Don't raise your voice and definitely don't throw your writing utensil at anyone. I have never seen that work out well for anyone. Keep your cellular phone out of your hand because it will lead to email checking and texting. I have been in many meetings where 10 people are there but 5 are doing all the talking, and 5 are on their phones. It's quite apparent that the silent 5 don't need to be there and offer no value to the topic. Their phone surfing just seems to diminish from the importance of the agenda.

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