Editor’s Note: Jim Cucinotta is a very senior executive, with over 20+ years of experience in leading sales, marketing, and operations teams. He is also an author on Flevy. You can view his firm’s business training guides here.
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We have all been in one of these meetings, a marathon session with no clear end in sight. The topic is muddled, the players are guarded, and the dance lasts longer than a wedding reception. The organizer is just trying to push her agenda and there is no resolution coming.
This type of meeting happens countless times every day. Resources are wasted and nothing gets done. Today pledge not be one of those offenders. Today, you will be the leader of effective meetings. You are going to focus on clarity and transparency in every meeting.
When we talk about clarity, we mean the ability to be clear in your thoughts, ideas and direction. If you are running the meeting, make sure the topics and goals are stated at the start of the meeting. This enables the participants to stay focused and understand the meeting outcome. If you are participating in the meeting, make sure you are direct and constructive. Don’t stumble through and have to explain every point because no one can understand you. You are not being high level, just disorganized.
Transparency is also a key skill. Let’s face it, every person who attends a meeting wants to be seen in a good light. But by being guarded and overly measuring your words, you lose the ability for people to understand your end goal. Instead of listening to your comments, people are worried about your agenda. In some situations, this may be a good path. But in my experience, being open and honest in the meeting- even if you disagree- is the best path. There are ways to express your opinions and still be respectful. Letting people in on your vision is a powerful leadership tool.
Meetings are necessary to accomplish goals, achieve sales, and solve problems. They are not going away. However, if you focus on being clear and open, your meetings will be more productive. And leading more productive meetings will yield more impressive results for your projects and your career.