So we’ve seen major matches in all sports, Murray and Djokovic, who have known each other since they were 11 years old, are waiting to come out yet they don’t talk to each other, it’s not that there is any animosity they’re focused on the match ahead. What you don’t see is them talking on their phones, or checking emails!
So why, in our working days, before and during important meetings check our phones or blackberry’s or answer other calls? We all know it happens, or aware of the time when we’re on a conference call that someone (if not ourselves) is focused elsewhere on reading and/or answering emails rather than being engaged with the meeting.
No wonder then that so many meetings are ineffective. Of course it may be because so many meetings are badly set up, or poorly run (see http://on-court.com/meetings1.html for a tongue in cheek quiz questionnaire for the corporate athlete) . That is no excuse for our lack of engagement, if it’s somebody else’s meeting we owe it to them when we turn up to be engaged. If we are not, why on earth are we there? We might not be there to win a match or beat someone, as in competitive sport, however, there should be a purpose to the meeting and we should not only be aware of it but also be focused on an appropriate outcome.
If it’s your meeting you might find using the five Ps helpful
1. Purpose – ensure you are clear about the purpose of the meeting and that this is communicated clearly to the participants
2. Preparation – make sure you prepare appropriately and thoroughly
3. Participants – have the right participants for the purpose and the outcome you want
4. Process – think through how the outcome you want is to be achieved
5. Product – the output from the meeting
If we’re developing elite performance then we need to prepare and be engaged. In many corporate settings meetings are key performance arenas and, whether as chair or participant we need to prepare so that we perform at our best.