The Meet Of The Matter

TO meet or not to meet? It’s not quite up there as a Shakespearean quotation, however, the question will strike a chord with many businesspeople who have been confronted with the dilemma of whether to hold one or not. Committees thrive on them – of course they would wouldn’t they, as isn’t that what they were formed for? Otherwise what’s the point of a group of people formed to make decisions?

It has been said that committees are made up of the unfit, appointed by the incompetent, to do the unnecessary. So are your meetings worthwhile? Have you ever stopped to consider the validity of such gatherings?

Well, there are plenty cynics who think they waste time, they fail to produce decisions and can be slow, they dilute responsibility, concentrate on trivial matters and can be exasperating and frustrating. Some complain of having a meeting purely to set a date for the next one!

There are plus points, however. They can ensure important matters receive proper consideration. And that different viewpoints are aired. They can act as a medium for exchange of information, they can save time by getting a number of people together to get a point across while they can help create something as a group that would have been more difficult as an individual.

We can all learn a lesson here. Set up meetings properly, employ a good chairperson and allow members to participate effectively. Get the best out of them, make sure people with diverse views and backgrounds make up a committee, explain what they are to do and their purpose, review and develop policies and make sure all concerned are consulted and kept informed.

Speedy action does not lend itself to committees, nor does the requirement for sharp, clear responsibility. And remember. Just because it may be convenient to meet on the first Wednesday of every month, consider how much better it would be if you only met when there was something to discuss!

So, to be or not to be? At the meeting, that is. You decide.

(Based on an extract from How To Be An Even Better Manager)


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