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Part IV: Talk’s Not Cheap: Building Brid... > If Your Boss is the Meeting Leader

Chapter 17. If Your Boss is the Meeting Leader

If your boss is the meeting leader and you cannot avoid the meeting, you may be able to forestall some difficulties. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Problem: No agenda

    Solutions: Suggest privately to your manager that agendas can speed up meetings and increase their productivity and effectiveness. Provide a sample agenda and, if needed, assist in developing this one.

    Volunteer to take notes on the Action Plan. Once the group is committed to the idea and can see the benefits, rotate that responsibility.

    Volunteer to explain the benefits and purpose of the agenda at the first meeting where it is implemented.

  2. Problem: Meetings consistently go over scheduled time frame

    Solutions: Suggest scheduling the meeting right before lunch, before another engagement or before quitting time. Most people will not allow a meeting to run into their personal time.

    Ask that time frames be assigned to each agenda item. Volunteer to be the official time keeper so that no one goes over their time. Rotate this responsibility once the group can see and appreciate the benefits of doing so.

  3. Problem: Speakers ramble

    Solutions: When the speaker stops for a breath, rephrase one of the statements and make a comment to get back on track. Ask for someone else’s opinion. Ask your boss if the group can move on to the next agenda item.

    Refer to the agenda, and ask which topic the speaker is discussing. Say, “I’m sorry, but I guess I’m a little lost. How is this related to the topic?”

  4. Problem: Interruptions

    Solutions: Discuss privately with the meeting leader how attendance can be limited to only those people most appropriate and explain the benefits of keeping the participants to a minimum.

    Volunteer to facilitate the meeting. Tell the group you will start the meeting on time and then do it.

    Suggest holding a “stand up” meeting, if appropriate.

    Discuss the interruption problem during the meeting. As a group, define what constitutes an emergency and when the group should allow interruptions. Put a message board outside the meeting room so the group can check for messages at breaks. Get the group to commit to allowing no interruptions. One organization scheduled 15-minute breaks every hour to accommodate their specific environment.



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