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Top 7 Tips Questions to Ask Before Attending a Meeting

By Steve Kaye

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Many people treat their work calendar like a blank check book. Anyone can grab a piece of their time. Here's how to protect yourself from being robbed.

  1. Where is the agenda? A meeting without an agenda will always waste your time. Once you have the agenda, make sure that it consists of a complete plan for the meeting. Most people prepare a list of words that is almost useless because everyone interprets it differently.

  2. What is the goal for the meeting? Is the chair seeking an agreement, a solution, or a plan? Knowing the goal gives you head start on participating effectively. Be cautious of meetings that are held just "to talk about something," because this type of meeting seldom accomplishes anything

  3. What is my role? Make sure that your participation adds value to the meeting. Avoid meetings where you have a superficial role, such as to find out what’s happening. In that case, ask for the minutes. If you’re needed for only part of the agenda, ask if you can attend only that part of the meeting.

  4. How should I prepare? Make sure that you know about any research, reading, or surveys required to participate. Ask about the expectations for the other participants because this could influence your preparation. Attend only if you can prepare adequately or suggest another time for the meeting.

  5. What should I bring? Should you bring a laptop? Will you be asked to give a presentation? Should you bring reports, data, or other information? Make sure that you have enough time to obtain the tools and materials needed for effective participation.

  6. Who else is coming? This will tell you what to expect regarding how the meeting proceeds. For example, are the other attendees decision makers, proponents of the issue, or experts? Once you know who else is coming, you can contact them to talk about their expectations for the meeting.

  7. What else do I need to know? This catch-all question searches for details that the chairperson forgot to mention, such as, "Oh by the way, we want you to give a presentation on why your project is behind schedule." You want to make sure that there are no surprises waiting for you.

Steve Kaye helps leaders hold effective meetings. He is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator, author, and speaker. His meeting facilitation and leadership workshops create success for everyone. Call 714-528-1300 for details. Visit http://www.stevekaye.com for a free report.

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Steve_Kaye

Article Submitted On: June 27, 2006