Sonali Malu’s ruthless rules for productive meetings help us get the best out of our meetings. The emphasis is on the positive. Project managers are responsible for constant communication with their clients, peers, teams, stakeholders, and supporting departments. Project managers communicate with everyone. They give advice, provide directions, negotiate, promise deliverables, etc. Meetings are an essential part of any project manager’s communication plan. It would be easy to assume that everyone is proficient in facilitating and planning meetings. However, many of us have attended unsuccessful meetings. These are just a few examples of professional misbehaviors.
- An important meeting is scheduled for a feature discussion and estimation. After the meeting, you are expected to submit an estimate for the feature to management. Two of your senior team members have been contacted by a technical architect to do some proposal work. These team members are not allowed to attend your meeting.
- * Participants in a meeting speak in their local language, which is not the official way of communicating. You will receive a summary of the meeting in two lines at the end.
- * A senior manager suddenly interrupts your meeting and asks questions to participants in order to create an important data presentation for the board meeting. Your agenda is completely ignored.
- * A meeting that was prearranged must be postponed if a senior stakeholder is not able to attend.
Many of you have dealt with situations like this, and many of these challenging behaviors are still present in your meetings. What can you do as a project manager? Be ruthless! These eight rules will ensure that productive meetings are productive and you take back your meetings.