Meetings and How to Do Them Right

Bestselling authors Mike Song, Tim Burress, and Vicki Halsey outline five ways to cut through the clutter to create shorter, more effective meetings using P.O.S.E.:

The key to reducing meeting time is to P.O.S.E. the right questions before accepting an invitation to an optional meeting:

1. Priority vs. Availability: Rather than check availability first when presented with a meeting invite – check your priorities and goals. Is this really where you need to be spending your time?

2.Objenda: Know the objective and agenda (we refer to this as an Objenda) of the meeting before accepting. Once the purpose and structure of the meeting is clear, you may realize that you no longer need to attend. If you blindly accept a topic as your only criteria for attending – you’ll be sitting in a lot of dead-end meetings. You’ll be better prepared and more productive when you have an objenda for every meeting you attend.

3.Shorten: Many meetings are scheduled for an hour because e-calendar tools like Outlook have presets for one hour. If you only need 40 minutes, override the presets and have a shorter meeting. Never schedule 60 minute meetings, always schedule 50 minute meetings. You’ll cut total meeting time and build transition time in so you won’t be late for the next one. Asking “can we cover this in 20 minutes instead of 60" is a great question.

4.E-Vailability: Sometimes we think we’re available but we’re not. Make sure your e-calendar reflects your true availability -- we call this e-vailability. Schedule me-time into your calendar to signify to yourself and others that you are booked at certain times. You’ll meet less and get more done when you’ve blocked out time for essential projects. Use me time to prep for important presentations, complete complex projects, or sort out a bloated inbox.

What do you think? Helpful? Not helpful? Ideas? Suggestions?


Five Wrong Questions to Ask

Marilee Adams' second edition of her bestselling work explores further the concept of questions and knowing the right questions to ask at the right times. However, Some of the questions we all ask prove to be more detrimental than helpful. Consider these five questions that you should avoid asking yourself at all times, even though they may still seem natural and familiar. All of these questions have built-in assumptions that can prevent the question asker from being successful or satisfied.

As you go through your day, listen to the questions you’re asking yourself and then wonder whether the inherent assumptions serve you. Sometimes you’ll find that you can be more successful and satisfied by changing your questions.

1. Why can’t I ever get anything right?

This is a bad question to ask yourself because it:
• Assumes that one is, was, and always will be incompetent and unsuccessful
• Assumes that there is nothing one can do about this “truth”

2. How did I get stuck with this idiot of a boss (spouse, child, colleague, etc.)?
This is a bad question to ask yourself because it:
• Assumes that one had no responsibility in contributing to this situation
• Assumes that one is good and pure and it’s everybody else who is deficient

3. What dumb thing is he/she going to say next?
This is a bad question to ask yourself because it:
• Assumes that whatever the other person says is always dumb
• Assumes that he or she never has anything helpful to say

4. How can I’m prove that I’m right (and everyone else is wrong)?
This is a bad question to ask yourself because it:
• Assumes that being right is the “end all and be all”
• Assumes that ones own point of view is the only right one
• Assumes that only one person or point of view can be right and valid

5. Whose fault is it? What is everybody else’s responsibility for this problem?
This is a bad question to ask yourself because it:
• Assumes that what’s important is finding a person to blame rather than focusing on resolving whatever the problem is
• Assumes that it was only others who contributed to the problem, not oneself

What questions do you think are the wrong ones to ask?