Cindy Novotny

Getting Ready for an Important Meeting – Don’t Stress Yourself Out!


In keeping with my monthly theme of being happy, I wanted to focus on the ‘dreaded’ meeting or conference you need to attend.  Recently, I attended a meeting and met a person who stated out loud how much he dreaded being there.  Why would anyone do that?  You should be happy you are employed, are still wanted at meetings and try to gain some knowledge and inspiration from these gatherings.  

And on the other hand, if you are in charge of a meeting where the energy is low, the content is average and the participation a joke, then you need to reinvent your meetings, conferences and possibly yourself!

A meeting or conference should seem like a gift and worth the time.  Ask questions, take notes and challenge yourself to add value.  Why would any executive look at you or remember you if you don’t participate, contribute and collaborate?  

So here are my tips for your next meeting:
1.    Rotate who runs the meeting – don’t make the mistake of always having the boss in charge
2.    Make sure everyone has their calendar with them for planning purposes
3.    Have an agenda (even if it is handwritten) to keep focused
4.    Don’t allow individuals to hijack the meeting  
5.    Have a learning or training topic at each meeting and give each person the responsibility of presenting a learning topic
6.    Hold people accountable for being on time – and don’t run the meeting over the end time
7.    Change the location where you hold meetings
8.    Encourage people to challenge ideas but not ‘play politics’
9.    Continue to focus on learning something new and sharing fresh ideas – don’t rehash old news or issues
10.    Remember that you need to be re-charged, re-energized and re-focused all the time – allow the meetings and conferences to do that