Meetings Start Before You Arrive

Greg Thomas

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Before your meeting starts, before anyone gets there, people need to be thinking about what is going to happen in your meeting. If you want your meeting to be useful and not be another story for a reddit post, this is how you want people to be attending showing up for your meetings.

And yes, you want them all to show up.

Whether you get the invite on your laptop, your desktop, your phone or your watch — the same information is conveyed to each and every one of those devices — the title.

Without a good title for what you are trying to accomplish no one will care.

You can’t see the description on your watch.

The remote “join” options take over all the space on your phone.

No one is reading your attachment if they are parsing it out via a rule on their desktop.

The title is all you have to get your point across to what you want to achieve and why everyone is needed there.

What do you want from this Meeting?

It starts there, what do you want the people attending to know what they have to discuss and answer when they arrive? The beauty of the title is that you only have so much useful space to work in that it will force you (yes force you) to be succinct in your words and not ramble on.

Discuss Product XYZ Delivery Strategy Update

becomes…

Provide Team updates on Getting Product XYZ out the Door!

Which meeting would you rather attend? Both are discussing the same idea — “Discuss what we have left to do to ship our product” — but the second title takes it a step further and forces the onus onto the team, the people being invited to come with their updates prepared with the goal towards understanding what they have left to get the project done and delivered, where the former is simply “just another update meeting”.

There is a goal being communicated and ownership in getting something done.

It’s your meeting, you’re the one setting it up, make sure you’re getting out of it what you need to.

Meetings need a Driver

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Greg Thomas

Software Architect, Developer, Author and Leader helping organizations build scalable software delivery teams and implement cloud-based solutions