Making Meetings Work

Making Meetings Work
Lots of meetings are conducted by each organization every week. Often the participants are senior/middle level executives. The cost of the time spent by the participants is very high. Besides, if a meeting is a not successful in achieving the objectives, the frustration and interpersonal conflict add to the cost.
However, if meetings can be held effectively, these are invaluable techniques of taking strong decisions after thorough discussion. It’s necessary to understand for the coordinators and even the CEO’s to have adequate knowledge of how to make meetings effective and productive. The chairman of the meeting plays a very important role for the efficacy of the meeting. Besides, meetings must give a satisfaction of openly discussing the ideas which you may have but you may not find an opportunity to express. Thus while on the one side we find that the poor meetings can be waste of expensive time of the executives, on the other these can be very helpful. If the meetings are organized effectively, they can be tools for resolving many managerial issues. These can thus be very helpful for the Management. The first important question, therefore, is the real need for the meeting. The coordinator has to clearly workout the objectives of the meeting. He or she has also to clarify how best the objectives can be achieved.
In order that we make the meetings productive and helpful we should attend to the following points which are often ignored:
1)      Planning and preparation: we should define the objectives of the meeting.
2)      We should select the participants and prepare a list of the proposed attendees. We may also invite their suggestions on the proposed agenda.
3)      The organizer needs to set the ground rules off the meetings in consultation with the chairman. In his brief introduction before the meetings starts the chairman can explain these ground rules. These could be summarized as :–
a)      Participants should speak precisely and avoid verbosity.
b)      Only one person should speak at time.
c)      The point which is already made by one participant should not be repeated by the other and
d)      No one should take the discussion on a personal level.
4)      The organizer must contemplate on what could be the problems. Necessary steps to avoid these problems should be taken.
5)      Getting results and action: minutes of the meeting should be written sooner than later, these should be circulated among the participants with or without a note by the chairman.
6)      There should be follow up action plan and the action need to be monitored.
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Stretched Goals

Setting Stretched Goals

Today I’ll talk to you about the importance of goals in life. Anything that we do in life, we spend our precious time and money must bring about desired results. But often it does not happen. Why? Do we always try to figure out the reasons? If not, then why not? Because our goals are not clear. Because our desire to achieve the results is not so strong.
So what should we do? Sit back and think that everything will be alright? Or, that our luck is bad? No!
We must clearly define what we want to achieve. Write these clearly on our diary/journal. Make it known to the friends, family members, peers wherever it is necessary. Particularly to our well wishers. When we make our goals known to others, we become more committed.
Then, we should create a strong desire within us to achieve our goals. We need to contemplate on these as often as possible. Further, we need to plan how to achieve our goals. Work out the plan and write it down. Spend some time, contribute something, however small, daily towards achievement of what you want to do in life. It is worth it. And, you will be surprised to find how effective this process is for achieving what you want.
What are stretched goals? Goals should be short-term, medium-term, and long-term. In other words, what you want to achieve in the current year, next five years, ten years, twenty years, etc. Never think about obscurity of the future and changing times. Instead think that I have the ‘right’ and possibility of modifying my goals as per the needs of the changing times.
Furthermore, you need to work about a practical plan to achieve each of your goals. This should be backed up with action, you genuine effort to follow the plan. Life will be a lot more meaningful when the goals are well-defined and the plan to achieve these is followed.
You must define your goals in all aspects of life. Work out your own priorities, but you goals must cover all the following areas:

  1. Your Career Goals
  2. Financial Goals.
  3. Your Health Goals
  4. You Family Goals
  5. Social Goals
  6. Your Hobby Goals
  7. And, your Spiritual Goals.

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Are you listening?

While talking on the telephone often you ask the listener – “Are you Listening?” If there is no sound of response such as ‘hmm’, ‘yes’, ‘please go ahead’, ‘I understand’, etc. you tend to feel that your words are falling on deaf ears. More so when you are negotiating on the telephone.
But what happens when you talk face to face?
The significance of your words is reduced to just 10 to 15%. ‘How you say it?’ – becomes more important than what you say. Even when you are articulate the efficacy of your words will not go down unless you compliment your words with voice modulation. Modulation is your ability to bring variance in Pace, Pause, Pitch, Emphasis on the keywords and the Tone.
Further, you body language* too is extremely important for making the communication convincing and effective.
Attentive listening to others is the key to build good relations. Listen to others and they will listen to you!
*(facial expression, posture, gestures, eye contact)

Interpersonal Relations

Our interpersonal relations with others depend upon various factors. Two most important factors are one – our behavior towards the concerned persons, and two and how we speak to the concerned persons.

The contents of what we convey to our peers and friends will primarily depend upon our behavior. If our conduct to certain persons has been consistently good. It shows our regard towards them. But how we speak to them, is equally important if not more. The efficacy of our speech can be improved by making our speech articulate. Besides, we also need to become good listeners. People want that when they speak, total attention of the listener/listeners should be focused on their speech. Their ego is hurt if they find listeners inattentive.

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