|Dear Meeting Guru,
What do you do about a person
who is consistently absent from meetings she should
The best way to ensure that a person attends a meeting is to make her presence
part of the agenda. Assign her a task, such as bringing information
to the meeting or giving a short presentation on a pertinent
topic. Include the task on the agenda and distribute it to
all attendees. Most people would rather show up for the meeting
prepared than risk the embarrassment of letting colleagues
know they've neglected such a small assignment.
You can also approach the person to ask why she consistently
misses meetings surrounding your question with positive
energy, of course. It may be that she doesn't have a full
understanding of the purpose of the meeting and its relevance
to her work. If so, clarify her role in the meeting and the
reasons she needs to be there.
Or the problem could be with the meetings themselves. Perhaps
they should be broken into sections. No one likes to attend
an hour-long meeting when 60 percent of the information covered
doesn't relate to her. In a weekly meeting I attend
yes, even gurus need to meet to enhance their wisdom
the agenda is structured so that topics affecting all attendees
are taken care of first and issues relating to a few people
come after. This streamlines meetings and uses everyone's
time efficiently, letting participants get back to their busy
days after topics affecting them are covered.
I admire your initiative in trying
to correct a problem within your office. As the wise philosopher
Confucius once said, "Our greatest glory is not in never
falling, but in rising every time we fall." In other
words, we learn from our mistakes, so figure out what's wrong
and work toward fixing it.
may good meeting karma always be with you.