Other things to cancel from your meeting communication include stating that you’ll wait for others to join. Instead, try telling everyone the meeting will be recorded for others to view later or designating someone as a note taker to catch the latecomers up to speed. Otherwise, those who did attend on time feel that their time is wasted.
As the Wall Street Journal says, “Great meetings are small, fast, and don’t involve status updates.” So how can you get to great? Here are a few key tips.
There’s a balance between brainstorming with your team and keeping your keep so tied up in meetings that they can’t get to their to-dos. In a post-pandemic world, your employees are probably still smarting from far too many meetings. Keep in mind, even if your workplace exercised restraint towards the number of meetings you held, most of the rest of your employees’ or clients’ lives may have taken place online. Beyond networking or webinar classes, meeting attendees may have found themselves stuck on endless Zoom calls for their holidays, family reunions, gyms, and school meetings. They may have survived not just church online, but church meetings online without the lifesaving sustenance of church cookies.
The pandemic’s effect on meetings wasn’t all bad. Our plan sponsor clients are finding ways to take the best of virtual meetings and make them work well. Virtual benefits meetings have a lot to offer, including making it easier for groups of people with similar needs or input to be in the same place at the same time (even if they are in different time zones). They also may help stakeholders feel more comfortable airing their concerns about benefits changes. “The saying ‘there is no bad weather, only bad clothing’ may apply to hiking and outdoor sports, but a corollary of it applies to meetings as well. There is no bad feedback, only the kind to which you are unprepared.” As plan sponsors increase their meeting savvy so too should advisors that work with institutional clients.
The flipside of the “this could have been an email” joke is a meeting where your attendees are unprepared for the topic. Attendees “complain of meetings that are conducted with too much theory, and not enough practical information. Also high on the complaint list are those meetings where attendees are given too much information too soon. “A solution to this is to ensure that the meeting is properly titled, e.g., a “working meeting” or “draft discussion meeting” to help attendees know what is coming. Other improvements may be to use the tools in your email software to make note of any required reading before the meeting.
Other meeting facilitation experts like Rae Ringel, note that the language we use in the actual meetings can influence how we view our participation in them. For example, the phrase “I’m going to give you 10 minutes of your day back” when a meeting ends early is sure to stir up resentment. But more than that, Ringle cautions “By framing a few extra minutes as an opportunity to give people their time ‘back,’ as though that time had been wrongfully pilfered, we undermine our collaboration.” Other things to cancel from your meeting communication include stating that you’ll wait for others to join. Instead, try telling everyone the meeting will be recorded for others to view later or designating someone as a note taker to bring the latecomers up to speed. Otherwise, those who did attend on time feel that their time is wasted.
Ringel also addresses how to keep a meeting on track and timely without running the risk of alienating attendees. She suggests avoiding the dismissiveness of phrases like “we’ll discuss this offline,” “let’s put a pin in that” or “let’s add that to the parking lot.” Without more, those phrases may make your attendees feel unheard nor rushed. Instead, those running the meeting may want to try making clear when the comment will be addressed or how the follow up will occur. Concerns not immediately relevant to the meeting could be moved along by stating “That’s an important point for after the launch,” “that’s something we will need to address once we get feedback from counsel” or simply “please remind me of that after this meeting so we can follow up.”
These articles are prepared for general purposes and are not intended to provide advice or encourage specific behavior. Before taking any action, Advisors and Plan Sponsors should consult with their compliance, finance and legal teams.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal