In our virtual world, it seems that people have more meeting requests than they did when everyone was in the office together. This could be simply because, in the absence of seeing people in person each day, leaders are scheduling more review meetings. The implication of more meeting requests is that people end up with competing demands for their time with overlapping meetings. If you want to improve the chances that people choose to attend YOUR meeting when they are double booked, you need to build a reputation as one who has meetings that are worth attending.
If you scheduled a meeting, whether virtual or in person, you undoubtedly did so with the clear intention that everyone would attend. After all, why schedule a meeting if you expect people to show up?
The unfortunate reality (especially in today’s world) is that there are always certain circumstances where individuals are not able to attend some of their meetings. Here’s the good news: yours can be the meeting they always attend.
Remember, when you ask someone to attend your meeting, you are really asking them to help you achieve some result. Think of this as an option – they can choose to help you, or not. Be a person they WANT to help.
Here are three strategies that will help you to improve the attendance at your meetings.
Positive relationships are imperative for successful communication. Show genuine interest in the other person. Ask questions about their interests and what makes them tick. Building these positive relationships will help with future correspondence as well as asking for their value input in the future.
What if you always ended your meetings early and gave people time back – keep your commitments and start on time, end on time, always. Follow-through is also a key element to being valuable in the workplace. When people know they can count on you, chances are they will be there for you too. Going above and beyond to give value to others does take some extra time, but the reward value can be very well worth it. Be the one that can be counted on and you will most certainly find that people will want to do the same for you.
It is human nature to want to be appreciated so when someone has taken time out of their day to participate in discussion and add value to a meeting, let them know their value. It takes very little effort to say thank you and show gratitude. When someone feels as if they are appreciated, they will most likely show up for future meetings AND with their best foot forward.
These tips are guaranteed to help those people you’ve invited to your meetings to give serious consideration about honoring your invitation and attending your meetings. However, it is sometimes unavoidable, like that rare occasion when they learn that their dog who had been abducted by aliens was just returned unharmed, and they still have to cancel.
If someone cannot attend your meeting, make sure to touch base with them beforehand. Communicate what is needed from them or what you need them to know. Show your gratitude for any information and value they bring to the discussion. Then follow-through with them after the meeting adjourns. Share the information they need to know from the meeting in order for them to have continued success.
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As you implement these strategies, you will see your meeting attendance improve. Good luck!
Pete Winiarski is the CEO of Win Enterprises, LLC. In response to the recent changes in how work is now conducted, he and his team created materials to help you and your team thrive in this virtual world. Go here now.
Become an expert on managing virtual teams with our free book. Get it here.