15,000 Meetings and Counting

On Friday of last week (18th), Cooney Carey held our strategic away day, where we discussed plans and opportunities in the upcoming 12 months. As a multi-disciplinary professional services firm, we had input from 12 members of our senior management team. It was an extremely productive day and many discussion points arose throughout the day.

Afterwards, I reflected on the day and specifically the importance of holding a successful meeting. I estimate that in a normal working week, I attend an average of 10 - 15 meetings a week (client and internal meets), which when I think about, over 30+ years of experience is upwards of 15,000 meetings.

Each person has different strengths and qualities in their professional armoury but when it comes to holding a successful meeting, there are a few fundamentals that have stood me in good stead down through my advisory career. This list is not an exhaustive, but merely a list of the take-away points that have resonated with me over the course of my career to date:

  1. Always come to the meeting with a positive attitude.
  2. Be prompt in arriving and return from any breaks held during meeting.
  3. Understand why everyone is in attendance.
  4. Define purpose from the outset.
  5. Come prepared to a meeting and never try to wing it.
  6. Speak one at a time and try to wait for the right moment to interject.
  7. Make sure your point adds or creates value. Reiterating a point already made doesn’t add value but prolongs the meeting.
  8. Try not to tuck into the boardroom sweet jar, halfway through the meeting.
  9. Listen - we were blessed with two ears and one mouth for a reason – particularly important in respect of client meetings.
  10. Keep the flow – deal with one topic at a time and move on once finished.
  11. Don’t revisit old topics.
  12. Keep good notes.
  13. Humour can often lighten the tension – Be careful to ensure appropriateness and to whom it may be directed.
  14. Ensure action points are identified, agreed and recorded.
  15. Respect other’s ideas – there is no such thing as a “bad” idea, but there may often be a better one.
  16. Summarise the action points at the end and try to end meeting on time.

I hope these tips will help you make the most of the meetings you hold and attend.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Tony Carey, Business and Financial Advisory Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, connect with him on LinkedIn.