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WEEK 5: Meeting Preparation & Coordination
No, meetings have not really been replaced by teleconferencing. Meetings still consume a great deal of a manager’s time. Whether you have assisted with 5 meetings or 500, today’s admin has to be a meeting extraordinaire in all 3 stages: pre, proper, and post. Come join Joan Burge, Administrative Expert, in week #5 of this dynamic series to learn what you need to do differently to make a difference. (08:46 mins.)
Welcome to week five, Meeting Preparation and Coordination. This topic is one of the shorter videos in this series, because I only have a few important topics I want to share with you. At the end, I have a great activity that I would like for you to engage in with your peers. The focus for this topic in meeting preparation is quality. Quality assurance in every stage, I am going to discuss three main stages and also discuss with you some things to remember. Keep in mind, that just because you have been working on meetings, preparing meetings, helping your manager get organized for meetings, that you remember everything. In fact, the longer we do something, the easier it is to forget. Again, I can’t stress this enough, it only takes that one time of forgetting something and causing embarrassment to our managers, to realize we may have gotten to comfortable with this process.
The three phases to the meeting are:
Pre-meeting: This is where most of you take a lot of ownership in terms of having to do a lot of the work. Really take OWNERSHIP of all the steps it takes in that pre-meeting stage. An example would be, asking to assist with sketching out the agenda. Don’t be afraid a week to two weeks out to ask, Mr./Mrs. Manager can I help you sketch out the agenda for the meeting to come in two weeks? This not only helps your manager be prepared for the meeting, but those attending the meeting to also be prepared. Another example would be to plot through the different steps and actions needed for a successful meeting with your manager. Once that is done, YOU go back to your desk, look for the action items that might be missing and fill in any blanks that will help the order of making sure this meeting will be successful. Help to gather pre-reads for your manager, by using tools like the internet, articles, e-mails etc… that will prepare your executive for this meeting and they can go into their meetings with confidence. The will help you stand out more than any other assistant!
Meeting Proper: This is the actual meeting. I have three bullet points for you to follow:
- Attend the meetings and contribute. Today’s administrative professional not only sits in the meetings and types copious notes on her laptop. But she ask questions, gives ideas, she contributes. She also is not afraid to ask questions if she didn’t understand what was said in that meeting.
- You may be asked to stand up and give an update on behalf of your department or your manager. The question to follow would be: How prepared are you to present this topic to the group?
- You may be asked to host an event for your administrative peers or you may just want to host an event. Be sure to think about how much QUALITY you’ve used through out the entire meeting phase.
3. Post Meeting: This is where a lot of assistants are left out. When your manager is headed back from a meeting, they are already thinking of the next meeting, or the phone calls they have to make or the hundreds of emails they have to answer. This is where you can truly make a difference! When your manager gets back from their meeting, ask your manager:
- Are there any follow up items I need to take care of for you?
- Were there any events discussed during this meeting that I need to be aware of?
- Are there any action items that I can prepare for you?
You want to draw that conversation out of your executive, this will allow you to be proactive and anticipate. That will allow your executive to do things that will be conducive to productivity and allow them to maximize their talent(s). Here is a video you can share with your leader on Maximizing The Time And Talents Of Your Assistant.
Activity for the week: review your check list for meeting preparation. Do you even have a check list? For those who may be more seasoned in the field, please be reminded that the more we do things the more likely we are to forget a step. Review your list to ensure that you have everything that may or may not be required in both internal and external meetings. Then, I challenge you to get with your executive(s) and administrative peers and create a star meeting checklist. This activity, used in our star meeting achievement training program, will help you come up with the best list that will help you office operate to its fullest. Have a great week.
Until Next Time…
Interested in more knowledge of Meeting Preparation and Coordination for Assistants? Check out the audio CD by Office Dynamics International, Meeting Planning and Execution.