Making the Most of Mandatory Business Meetings

3 Ways to Avoid Meeting Fatigue

Whether you work in the financial industry or an industrial position, you probably have to suffer through business meetings on a regular basis. This is the time when they go over future plans, current issues, and past transgressions. Unfortunately for some, it can seem absolutely pointless. This is especially true if your working personality is better suited for constant movement and action. Taking even 30 minutes out of your busy day to sit still for a meeting that often doesn’t have anything to do with you or your position can feel like a huge waste of time. However, most of these meetings are mandatory so you might as well figure out how to make the most of them.

Here are a few tips to help you get everything you possibly can out of those business meetings that will continue to pop up on your schedule in the future.

Come Prepared

As long as the meeting you’re attending was not thrown together on the fly, make it a point to go into it prepared. Write down a few pertinent questions that you can ask during the meeting or bring your thoughts on the topic. Take some paper and a pen so you can take notes throughout. This way if you happen to get busy afterwards and need to look back on what was reviewed at a later date, you can. During fast paced meetings it can be hard to retain everything without taking notes, so make sure you don’t leave the meeting as clueless as you came in. Prepare yourself in advance, take notes, and you’ll definitely get more out of those mandatory meetings.

Ask Questions

As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to go into each meeting with a list of questions you can ask. Not only are you getting the answers you need to better your own job, but you’re also showing your superiors and colleagues that you’re an active participant. That’s something they appreciate and remember later on down the road. Those questions you ask can be a huge benefit for your position within the company and can also help you keep the meeting on track. It can be easy for things to get off topic, but by guiding the direction of the meeting with your questions, you’re able to keep everyone on task and get through it much faster than you would without them.

Keep it Short and Sweet

The longer a meeting goes, the more likely it will be to get off topic. People hate business meetings, but they simply must be done. If it’s something short that doesn’t necessitate everyone leaving their desk to come into a conference room to discuss, try and put it in a memo instead. However, if you absolutely must put together a meeting, try and keep it focused and to the point. If you’re the one putting the meetings together, make sure you have a specific agenda of topics you can refer to. This will help you stay on topic and less likely to stray into unrelated conversation. When you have a timeline to adhere to, make it a point to let everyone know that way they will be less likely to get sidetracked.

Just because you don’t want to go to those meetings doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of them while you’re there. With these three tips, hopefully you’ll come away from the next mandatory business meeting you’re required to attend with a better understanding of your job and the company for which you work. Don’t waste the precious time you get away from your desk in a meeting by zoning out and acting as though it doesn’t affect or pertain to you. If you’re invited, do everything you can to make the most of it. That’s the best way to keep from wasting your time in your upcoming business meetings.

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George Rains
Executive Vice President of Global Operations at ZBest Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation Services.