We all know the importance of meetings when it comes to sharing information, brainstorming, strategising, planning, welcoming of new members, pitching a business idea, etc. All of these and many others constitute the reasons why we call people around. Be you an entrepreneur or a successful business man you have to decide whether to attend or not attend meeting. Meetings suck up time like ‘wow’.
A meeting is not an occasion for chit-chatting. It is not also an occasion for making friends. It is purposefully for business, whatever that means. Since entrepreneurs are ultimately responsible for every aspect of their business, allocating the right amount of time to the right tasks is critical to keeping your business running smoothly.
One of the moments when you spend (waste) time is when attending meetings. Most of the times these meetings pop up from nowhere and you will get pressure from a friend to drop whatever you’re doing and be part of the meeting. No no no! Meetings should be well planned and purpose made known to those involved.
As an entrepreneur, you will receive many invitations to attend meetings and in some occasions, you will be the one doing the invite. Before you gather for a meeting, be it formal or informal, you should ask why you should be attending. Yes, you should answer that question or else that activity will just be a waste of your precious time.
In this article, Jon Westenberg writes about the three essential elements of a meeting in these words:
- You must have a clear answer to the question, “what do you want and what do you want to give?”
- You must have a story for your meeting
- You shouldn’t want to be my best friend instead of focusing on the purpose of the meeting.
The above points might seem subtle at first glance. Take a read again and let them sink. The points capture the significance of purpose and benefits of a meeting.
It’s commonplace to hear an entrepreneur say “I’ve been invited to attend a meeting.” Would you loose anything if you don’t attend or is there anything you would be benefiting from attending? The answer to this question should be very clear to you to make the decision either to attend or not.
Every meeting is a transaction. I mean it when I say those words. You should know what you want and what you’re ready to give during meetings. It appears easy for anyone to rally people for a meeting. Take the case of a community like the Silicon Mountain as an example. Every now and then there will be calls for the members (founders) to come around because XYZ is in town and would like to have a session with them. In most of the cases, the community members have said the meetings have been a complete waste of time.
The act of choosing whether to attend or not to attend a certain meeting to which you’ve been invited is an aspect of ‘informed decision.’ This concept has been very well understood by essentialists. In his book, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”, Greg McKeown promotes the philosophy of “Less but better.”
Make a great use of your time. If you can’t figure what’s in a meeting package for you, just sit down where you’re and get that work with. No time to waste!