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Death by Meetings

So I assume everyone has heard the phrase “death by meetings”, that fear that you are going to be in a series of meetings and that no matter how hard everyone tries, you seem to come out of these meetings with the same to do list or a larger one.  I know your all shaking your head yes or saying “been there done that and have the tee shirt to prove it”. 

We at ITSM Academy recently had our yearly strategic meetings and I want to say up front, Best Strategic Meetings in the eight years I have been with the organization. Now that it is not to say that we haven’t had great Strategic Meetings in the past, because we have.  And that is not to say that I wasn’t heading into these meetings with a bit of trepidation, as I think most of us do. I recently read an article called Managing Yourself, Learn to Love Networking*. It defined four strategies that you can engage to help you network with other people even if you really don't enjoy it.  I thought, why can’t I take these 4 approaches and use them to help me be the best I can be and contribute effectively to the goals of the organization?

Step number one ‘Focus on learning”.  Most people have a dominant motivational focus – promotion or prevention (1).  Promotion is focusing on the growth, advancement and accomplishment, while the perspective is excitement, curiosity and an open mind, something hard to do for grumpy cats. Prevention on the other hand is the view of I’m obliged to do this and take part for only professional reasons, which to me really limits your ability to listen and engage with people.

Step number two “Identify Common Interests”. (2)  Take time to think about how your interests and goals align with those individuals that you are meeting and hopefully brainstorming with.  What pain-points do we have in common and how can we work together to eliminate them to all our benefits? What is working well and how can we continue to mature it over time with coordinated efforts?  If you are not sure of what the people you work with do on a daily basis, ask them to tell you and find those areas of where your common interests lie.

Step number three “Think Broadly about what you can give”. (3)  Don’t be afraid to share your experiences and knowledge.  You would be surprised at how much you have to offer and what value you bring to the table, especially if you can look at things with a different set of eyes and a unique perspective.

Step number four “Find a Higher purpose”. (4)  Enter the meeting with a higher goal, focus on the collective benefit of engaging with others to move your organization forward.  Think about how you can contribute to making your organization more efficient and effective and what the results will look like for your customers.

*Managing Yourself, Learning to Love Networking - https://hbr.org/2016/05/learn-to-love-networking

Tiziana Casciaro, Fancesca Gino and Maryam Kouchaki. (1, 2, 3, 4)

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