In This Episode…
A few episodes ago I shared my experiences of having a really bad meeting. Not that the meeting itself was bad, but that my way of handling it in terms of the actions and decisions and the follow up activities was poor.
That set me on a journey to get better with my productivity behaviours around meetings. Today I had an important meeting with my accountant.
Now whilst it wasn’t the best meeting, it was a vast improvement on the one I had earlier in the week that kicked this all off.
So in this episode I shared what went well and what I would do differently next time to make it even better.
Episode Transcript (Edited)
Hi, and welcome to today’s episode of the Profit Productivity Podcast. It’s your host, Michael Tipper. Who else would it be?
Yesterday, I lamented about how the day had just run away with me and that I hadn’t made the time to actually work on looking at developing my ability to handle meetings more effectively.
I spotted that as a deficiency and as a weakness in my current productivity, based on a meeting I had earlier on in the week.
And so despite starting yesterday with the good intentions of going and researching some good behaviours, it didn’t happen.
Now today I’ve actually had another meeting and this time things were done differently.
So what I want to do is just go through the things that worked really well for the meeting today. That will serve the purpose of identifying the sort of behaviours I want to really embed as natural and automatic. I’ll also look at some of the resources that are in place or maybe need to be in place.
Then I’m going to look at what I would do differently to make that meeting even better because I’m still not there yet.
I think so soon into developing this part of my productivity, it would be too early days to think that I have all the answers right now.
Here’s What Went Really Well About Today’s Meeting
So what did I do Well?
First of all, it’s Thursday when I’m recording this and the meeting was arranged last week. So at the beginning of the week on Monday, I sent an email three days in advance of the meeting and confirmed the time and confirmed the zoom link.
It was with my accountant so I also asked them for some information in advance so that I could prepare for the meeting.
I also gave them the outcome and the purpose of the meeting and I gave the agenda.
So that was all set up three days ago.
Now this morning I had to chase up and ask whether she had received the email because I’d had no acknowledgement that she was going to attend.
I’d also not received the information I’d asked for.
So I sent a nudging email this morning and immediately got an answer with the details I needed.
So having got that information, the next thing I did was prepared more effectively for the meeting.
I chatted to my bookkeeper about some of the issues concerned and gathered some notes on that.
I gathered the questions I wanted to ask, and I got greater clarity on what the outcome and the purpose was for the meeting were.
Having already defined them, I just wanted to remind myself of them so when I went into the meeting, I was fully primed.
We had the meeting and the first thing we did was have a bit of a social catch-up, partly because this was the first time I was speaking to this relationship manager.
So we didn’t know each other, other than from a brief exchange of emails.
We had a bit of chat about what we’re doing and how COVID was affecting us right now.
I gave a little bit of an explanation about my business because as I said, we hadn’t talked before.
And so then we went through the meeting, followed through the agenda and actually got to the bottom of where we needed to go.
I noted the actions and who’s going to do them.
When we finished the meeting, I followed up immediately straight after.
This was a good thing. It was a very straightforward forwarding of some information, but I didn’t let that fester. That was the first thing I did as soon as the meeting was done.
Now that’s a good thing for me because often I would just put it on the to do list and leave it there. But whilst I was still fresh in the wake of the meeting, it was a good time to do it.
Then I sent a short summary email, thanking them for their time and reminding them of what needs to be done and by who.
An that is a much, much more effective and efficient way of dealing with a meeting.
Here’s How I Can Make Things Even Better
So what can I do to make things even better?
Well, probably the big thing for me is that in identifying the actions, I never identified a deadline. So at the moment they are just open-ended, there’s no telling when they could be done.
Now I’ve done mine because I said I would do it straight after the meeting, but I haven’t got an agreement. I didn’t nail down my accountant for when they would come back to me with with the details.
She gave me an idea of when she might do it, but didn’t give me any indication of when she was going to come back to me with the answer to my questions.
The other thing I could probably do is handle the note taking better.
Because all I did is just scribbled the actions on the agenda, which I suppose is some form of notes. But now it’s on a piece of paper and I’ve got to scan it or do something with it, or just throw it away if I do anything with it at all.
So my records of the meeting – I need to get clear on how they are, because what happens when I need to reference this conversation again in the future?
Well, I don’t know.
I haven’t worked that out yet.
And also how do I track the followup?
The action is there, but what is the followup for it?
At the moment I have created a post it note with “awaiting response”, and I put that in the “Pen” part of my personal Kanban board.
That’s one way I’m doing of doing it.
So that is a quick summary of how I’ve approached this particular meeting – a far more effective way than before.
There Is Still More I Need To Do To Develop This Part Of My Productivity
I like what I’ve done but there’s still more that I can do.
I think that I’m getting there, but now what I’ve got to do is I’ve got to take these behaviours and I’ve got to make sure this happens every single time I have a meeting.
I’ve got to look at the systems, how am I going to track the followup actions? How am I going to record the actions? How am I going to have this as something I can easily refer to in the future?
I’ve got to get to the bottom of that and I’m not quite sure what the answer is yet, but that’s something I’m going to ponder on over the next day or so.
I’ll do that whilst I’ve got this particular example fresh in my mind.
So that’s today’s episode.