What’s more important than a meeting? The preparation for the meeting.
When does this happen? Five minutes before the meeting.
People – typically in larger organizations – rush from meeting to meeting. They hate it (so we say). These may be in-person but are frequently via conference calls. The opportunity for fully preparing can be slim to none.
Which is a shame. With a modicum of preparation, the meeting itself is exponentially more productive – and faster.
This preparation can take the shape of reading previous minutes, and seeing that they actually hold a wealth of information and mental continuity so that conversations and arguments don’t repeat themselves.
Or, it can simply be looking at the meeting agenda – if there is one – and simply pulling your thoughts together before everyone’s chattering on.
This can all be a bit tough when meetings butt up against each other during the day, but given that it can take a good five minutes for a meeting to actually get underway, there is still an opportunity to take a few quiet moments and jot down the specific topics and points you want to get across. These points end up being the most valuable part of the meeting in terms of raising specific suggestions or proposals on what should be done after the meeting is over.
Momentum is everything.
Don’t just go through the motions of attending meetings. Get the most out of them, not just for yourself but for the others, as well. All benefit when people are participating actively with new ideas to offer, rather than hashing old ground due to a lack of a mere five minutes of prep.