November 03, 2009
If I had a nickel for every bad meeting I hear about….
This time you are in a meeting that gets off track and no one appears to even notice, much less take the initiative to bring it back. In fact, the off-track was kinda interesting and sucked you in for a while.
You may have to suffer in the short-term this time in order to prevent the circuitous discussion for the next time. Or else try the advanced approach below.
At the start of a “suspect” meeting, set a ground rule. Casually bring up a question about the timeframe for the meeting, then follow it up with a comment like
“Then we’ll need to stay on track pretty well today to get all that done in our allotted time.”
That does help people be more aware of managing time.
But it’ll need more, such as
“Want me to watch the agenda time?”
“Shall I interrupt if we seem to lose track?”
Now you have permission to butt in (assuming all agreed it was okay…..).
TRY THIS – FOR THE ADVANCED ONLY:
It takes some moxy to do this, but if you have no shyness, go for it.
Jump in and contribute to the tangential discussion. (Yes…that’s what I am saying…contribute to the group being off-track)
Then, since you have the floor ’cause you’re chattin’ away, smoothly apologize for getting the group off-track and transition the conversation back to something appropriate. I swear, it works.
The Painful Meeting Round 1
The Painful Meeting Round 2