August '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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18 || P R I N T W E A R A U G U S T 2 0 1 7 present. It should, however, be the person that has the most to gain or lose regarding the team's performance. Most meetings would benefit greatly from a facilitator. This per- son's role is to focus on the process by which decisions are made, how people's opinions are expressed and considered, and how dif- ferences in opinion are resolved. They are not present to pay close attention to the content of the meeting. The facilitator should not be responsible for taking the meeting minutes since they aren't an official member of the group. It is the only way to ensure the fa- cilitator is neutral on the issues, objective to all meeting attendees, and can still see the "big picture" while the group zeros-in on the matter at hand. The role of meeting coordinator and minutes recorder does not always need to fall on the same person for every meeting. I've seen the responsibility rotated among group members and I've heard of the assignment being given to those who are habitually late or who fail to complete action items. Nonetheless, effective meeting leadership is crucial to successful decision making, the morale of the group, and achieving positive synergy. Without it, even the best of decisions can be ruined in implementation and follow through. Deadly sin 4: Never-ending meetings. Have you ever been held hostage at a filibuster meeting? Tangential conversations, address- ing non-agenda items in an impromptu manner, and attempting to complete the work during the meeting when much of it should have been done before the meeting are some of the most common causes of a meeting droning on and on. When you host a meeting, honor the time budgeted to each topic and the entire meeting at large. If additional time is needed, move the issue to the next meet- ing's agenda. Every member of the group should be empowered to keep the meeting moving and the team on track. Deadly sin 5: Failure to adjourn with closure. Rarely have I at- tended a meeting that was brought to a proper close. Most people are so anxious to leave (or make their next meeting) that results of the meeting aren't summarized, expectations of what is to happen before the next gathering aren't agreed upon, and the positive as- pects and the areas that need improvement aren't recognized and acknowledged. Be sure the meeting agenda includes 15 minutes at the end to guarantee all group members are on the same page in the hymnal. Include the summary of action assignments and an evaluation of the meeting in the minutes. EVEN AFTER MEETINGS, WE SIN Deadly sin 6: Inconsequential, meaningless meetings. A good test for the commission of this sin is to ask yourself, "What tangible or observable impact on the business did holding that meeting have?" If your answer is "not much," you ought to think twice about sched- uling the next one. There are only a few good reasons ever to call a meeting: • To make key strategic decisions in a timely fashion • To bring project sponsors—typically management—up-to- speed on the status and progress being made by a chartered proj- ect or sub-committee • To share vital information that will be needed by meeting at- tendees to make their own decisions As a business owner, you should set a precedent of high expectations each YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS TRAINER continued from page 16 continued on page 95

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