15,000 Meetings And Counting

January 2019

On Friday the 18th January 2019, Cooney Carey held their strategic away day, where they discussed plans and opportunities in the upcoming 12 months. As a multi-disciplinary professional services firm, they had input from 12 members of their senior management team. It was an extremely productive day and many discussion points arose throughout the day.

Afterwards, Tony reflected on the day and specifically the importance of holding a successful meeting. He estimated that in a normal working week, he attends an average of 10 – 15 meetings a week (client and internal meets), which when we think about it, with over 30+ years of experience is upwards of 15,000 meetings.

Tony said "Each person has different strengths and qualities in their professional armoury but when it comes to holding a successful meeting, there are a few fundamentals that have stood me in good stead down through my advisory career. This list is not an exhaustive, but merely a list of the take-away points that have resonated with me over the course of my career to date:

  • Always come to the meeting with a positive attitude.
  • Be prompt in arriving and return from any breaks held during meeting.
  • Understand why everyone is in attendance.
  • Define purpose from the outset.
  • Come prepared to a meeting and never try to wing it.
  • Speak one at a time and try to wait for the right moment to interject.
  • Make sure your point adds or creates value. Reiterating a point already made doesn’t add value but prolongs the meeting.
  • Try not to tuck into the boardroom sweet jar, halfway through the meeting.
  • Listen – we were blessed with two ears and one mouth for a reason – particularly important in respect of client meetings.
  • Keep the flow – deal with one topic at a time and move on once finished.
  • Don’t revisit old topics.
  • Keep good notes.
  • Humour can often lighten the tension – Be careful to ensure appropriateness and to whom it may be directed.
  • Ensure action points are identified, agreed and recorded.
  • Respect other’s ideas – there is no such thing as a “bad” idea, but there may often be a better one.
  • Summarise the action points at the end and try to end meeting on time.

I hope these tips will help you make the most of the meetings you hold and attend."