Last week our focus was on Creating Effective Meetings.   We heard from a lot of members of our community who said that the post was tremendously helpful and one of our readers provided some excellent ideas to consider.

Bill S. in Illinois sent this note:

Great ideas on meetings!   Let me offer another suggestion:  group all meetings in the morning or afternoon to leave large blocks of time available to actually work.

I work in Information Technology and it is important for me to have large blocks of time to concentrate on the task at hand.  Few things are more disruptive than to get in a ‘groove’ only to be pulled away for a meeting.  Getting in a ‘groove’ is not an instantaneous thing, it takes time to shift gears to focus effectively on problem solving – this is why “effective multitasking” is an oxymoron. 

The worst day for me to get any development, analysis, design type work done is when meetings are scheduled throughout the day instead of all in the morning – 9 to 10, then 11 to 12, then 12:30 to 2, then 3 to 4.  Sure, I’ve got a few hours for work, but they are scattered about and not conducive to getting in that groove.

Our management has taken our concerns seriously and now strongly encourage scheduling meetings in the morning or the afternoon – actually allowing us to make unavailable the other block of time.  For the most part this actually is working.  Coworkers within IT and our customers in the business are growing to follow and respect the process as they experience the benefits in our contributions.

Another significant shift in our approach to meetings is the recent green light we have been given to decline meetings if they don’t come with an agenda in the meeting invitation.  This helps to encourage the individual that calls the meeting to follow the guidelines your offered in Creating Effective Meetings.  Surprisingly (sarcasm intended), some meetings never get rescheduled when individuals are required to think about the specific purpose of the meeting, who should attend, etc.

Thank you, Bill!  Our goal is to offer you all executive coaching nuggets and whenever you can take those nuggets and bring them to life or offer ideas to support this community more fully, we love to hear them.

Next week, we will finish our focus on meetings, by exploring: What to do When Meetings Derail.