How to Prepare for Meetings (and Rehearsals!) that Matter

Do you hate meetings?  If that was a "yes" before the pandemic, I'm guessing it's an "absolutely yes, OMG so much yes" now.  Overwhelm and burnout have become a fact of life for many.

But what if you're in charge of meetings? It can be challenging to keep everyone's attention, much less inspire your team to follow through with what needs to be done.

Preparing for a meeting can be just as important as actually running one.  

Here are three things that you can do ahead of time to make meetings pain free:

Get organized.
Figure out the main point(s) that you need to get across.  Now make an outline (in whatever form is most comfortable for you) with that as the introduction and conclusion.  Fill in the outline with supporting material.  Check to see if you can make the information clearer or if it's truly necessary.  If not, delete.  You want everything you say to be clear and concise.  Running a rehearsal instead of a meeting?  Create a plan and prioritize.

Ask for input.
Go to team leaders and ask if anything needs to be addressed that has not yet been included.
Conductors, this applies to you as well.  You may be surprised at what your section leaders are noticing that would help you problem-solve.

Get the right people there.
Only invite the people who need to be there.  It's a need-to-know world right now.  If you are including superfluous personnel, you are wasting their time and energy and negatively effecting productivity.  Musicians, can you accomplish more in a sectional than a full rehearsal?

Planning is an opportunity to trim any unnecessary information so that your team can get the most out of their time. Empowering your team through input increases their investment while allow you to get a fresh perspective.  Prioritizing what needs the most attention and identifying the specific people involved will help save everyone's patience and productivity.

Dr. Nancy Williams is a clarinetist, music educator, and leadership & life coach who helps leaders and creatives build cultures of empowerment that increase productivity and joy.  Sign up to receive weekly blog links and an inspirational message and receive the free guide, "5 Ways to Overcome Overwhelm."

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