Planning for meetings


people meeting


Peter Drucker said “the best way to predict the future is to create it.”  When we meet with others, one of the best ways to assure the success of our meetings is to prepare for them, plan for them and clarify our objectives for the meeting, before the meeting ever begins.

Many of us go into meetings unplanned.  By unplanned I mean, we don’t clarify, before the meeting, how we want the meeting to end.  Therefore, meetings end up places we never intended them to.

As when you take a trip, you first decide where you want to end up.  Then once destiny is clarified, then comes the mapping of the route.

When you and I are to meet with someone, we must first state how we want the meeting to end.  I will often ask myself at the planning stage of the meeting, “when I get up to walk out of this office, what do I want the results to be?”

Have you ever walked out of a meeting and said “man that did not go at all like I  thought it would?”  Notice, many times we say “it didn’t go like I thought it would,” not “it didn’t go like I had planned it to go?” In most cases, it is because we didn’t plan for it to go any way.

If we are to give a presentation before a board, we will plan for days.  But if we are just having a “one on one” or a more casual meeting, we don’t tend to prepare.  Yet these small meetings can be very beneficial to our families, careers and personal lives.  These, seemingly lesser important meetings can also be costly to our potential and peace.  We’ve all had minor meetings that left us stewing all day because we were blind sided by something we weren’t prepared to handle, that happened in that meeting.

  • Attempt to make it a win for you and the others.
    • Define what they want.
    • Define why they want it.
    • Sometimes a person may not care about the actual action, but how it makes them look.  Come up with a way that doesn’t cast a shadow on them, yet allows you to achieve your goal.
  • State the objective for the meeting.
    • What is the purpose of the meeting?
    • What do you want to get out of this meeting?

I want to give you 5 ways to have better meetings:

  1. People are interested in themselves first. Find something that they will get out of the exchange, that you are willing to give up, in order to get what you want.
    1. Remember most enter a meeting with the thought of “what’s in it for me?”
  2. Role-play before the meeting
    1. Rehearse what you want to say and you will come across more controlled and not shaky.
  3. Prepare for objections.
    1. Most offers will face resistance at first, prepare for them.
  4. Have answers for those objections.
    1. Have answers that meet their needs.
  5. Lastly, determine what is your lowest acceptable offer.    Decide what your limits are; those things that you can live with and those that are non-negotiable.
    1. Knowing what the least you can accept or the most you can do before the meeting will give you peace.  You don’t have to struggle with that question throughout the meeting, you already know what the limit is.

Once you and I understand that most meetings have a better chance of ending up the way we want  them to by planning and preparing for them, I think we will spend more time preparing for our meetings .

So the next time you meet with someone, go into that meeting prepared.  State what the objective is before the meeting and prepare for it.  I think you will be happy with the results!