Smart Meetings…….

“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.” 

~Dave Barry~

I don’t like to talk…..I like to ‘do.’

What frustrates me most, is having meetings, where first, you don’t begin talking about the core ‘business’ as people are chatting about things at home, gossiping, etc, etc.  Further, where meetings go nowhere but people end up talking in circles.  I don’t like to waste time.  An agenda or even just a list of items to discuss to keep the topics on track help meetings to run smoothly.

I have sat in on so many meetings where a conversation lasts for hours, no minutes are taken, no agenda followed, no clear outcomes are made and then everyone leaves and nothing gets done!  This is just a waste of time.  There are far better things to be doing, than to spend hours talking about ‘useful stuff,’ and to not get anything actually accomplished.  In schools, we just don’t have time for this!  How many ‘meetings’ have you been to that are like this?

In a working week there is far too little time to discuss important issues or to have wider discussions about the school.  Therefore, it is essential that agendas are drawn up and minutes are taken so that something can be done and actually carried out.

The one thing I have learnt, more clearly lately, is to try to follow the minutes up.  What I mean by this is that very often, even when the minutes are available, people won’t read them again.  So, I now try to follow up actions by just further establishing with the relevant people what they are supposed to be doing and when it is to be done by.  This face to face confirmation with people, outside of the meeting, just ensures that people clearly know what is expected.  This follow-up is literally just a quick ‘corridor chat.’ It also helps people to feel as though you value their input and are there to provide support.

So, think about the ‘meetings’ that you have during the week.  How can you make them ‘smarter’ and more time effective?

Remember, especially in education, it is about working smarter and not harder……

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