Steps to Management Success – Step 128: Don’t Go to Meetings Empty-Handed

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 15th, 2010


Don’t Go to Meetings Empty-Handed

Prior to attending a meeting, even if it’s with just one other person, set the agenda; know exactly what you want to accomplish at the meeting. Decide beforehand on the topic you plan to discuss, how you will introduce it, and precisely how to proceed. Anticipate who might disagree with you or try to divert you and how thwarting you would benefit them.

WHAT IT MEANS: Whoever controls the agenda can exert the greatest influence on the direction the meetings take and the results that can be achieved. That person has the best chance of controlling timetables, deadlines, and the personnel assigned to implement all tasks. He or she can also control or influence the finances. Succeeding in business often depends on gaining and maintaining control.

ACTION PLAN: Plan ahead. Identify the ultimate outcome you hope to achieve and lay out each step required to reach your goal. Learn about the people you will be meeting with, how they work, and how various outcomes would impact them. Arm yourself with the heavy artillery: reports, studies, surveys, and other documentation that will support your approach, quash opposition, or convince them to join forces with you.

EVEN BETTER: Beat potential opponents to the punch. Quickly, neutralize them or convert them to your position by understanding their views, showing them the strength of your reasoning, and/or offering them incentives if they work with you. Find out what they want and see if you can offer them more or see that they get it sooner. Understand their skills and talents and how they could be utilized for your benefit.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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