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A good meeting begins with discipline

Bill Gates had said in his book “Business at the speed of thought,” “The most effective meetings are the ones when the participants come well-prepared”. This is true, and something already known to Chanakya who had made this rule long ago in our country. He wanted people to not only come on time but also to come well-prepared with their reports. If they turned up without that, they were actually fined or even punished.

He said, “For (managers) not coming at the proper time or coming without the account-books and balances, the fine shall be one-tenth of the amount due”

Discipline in meetings is very important. Listing various aspects, Chanakya gave utmost importance to punctuality and a well-prepared meeting. Let us take a detailed look at these.

Why have a meeting?

A meeting is an event where two or more people meet to discuss certain ideas. In a company, most of the meetings have an agenda for which people meet. For example, a sales review meeting. This will require the sales team to come and discuss the sales achieved, upcoming strategies to achieve the next targets and also the plans for moving ahead. A meeting is also held for an exchange of ideas, an opportunity to network, understand the working styles of others as well as to share or seek information.

The benefits of a good meeting

A good meeting is one that has a clear agenda. The timing for such meets is worked out well in advance and communicated to all. It starts on time and also ends on time. People feel nice after one such productive meeting rather than having one meeting flowing into another without any progress. In today’s scenario especially, when time is a precious commodity, one should not hang around without a clear agenda. Every second has to be made productive.

Preparing for a good meeting

The first thing is to communicate. This is the role of the organiser. Remember, you have to communicate four things to the relevant participants way before they gather: Where, When, Who, and What.

Where is the meeting going to be held (venue)? When (the time – both starting and ending); Who (the chairperson or speaker for the session), and What (the agenda and the topic for the meeting)? In any event, if you are a participant in a meeting, you have to always come prepared with the relevant reports and required papers. When asked for any particular information, no time should be wasted. A quick and prompt response will help in the decision-making process.

Additionally, try to understand the importance of a meeting. Be a good organiser, conductor, and participant of a meeting. Also, never hesitate to teach others to have effective meetings.

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