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Equestrian Life – Work from Home (WFH) Tips – Have a Meeting Agenda

WFH makes meetings a priority in communicating with colleagues and customers. To be a rock star WFH employee you need to have a meeting agenda. Otherwise, why are we all here? I know you just gave me the eye roll. Trust me you will thank me later. What to include in your meeting agenda? Here’s my greatest tip list with some real examples:

1. A description of the purpose of the meeting. If you are in a lot of meetings as we all are lately you may have totally forgotten what you wanted to meet about. When I read the purpose of the meeting – one sentence or a few bullet points I’ve written in the invite, I’m reminded of why I’ve set it up in the first place, can find the documents I prepared for it and look uber prepared. 😉 I don’t get fancy in the description – simple, plain language and straight to the point. Here’s some examples:

a. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss project status (Ho Hum rating in my book – every meeting could cover this topic so what makes this status meeting unique?)

b. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss project status of all deliverables overdue (Better but I might be afraid to attend this because I don’t want to be called out in front of my peers)

c. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss projects status of all deliverables overdue by the testing team and what to do to get them on track. (Best because it doesn’t imply that the meeting is a beating session but a fix it session which is more fun to attend)

2. The Agenda. The next sentience usually is something like this “and we will be covering” and then I list agenda items. I list the agenda items as bullets or numbered and I think of each person coming to the meeting and which bullet apples to them. Rarely do I put names next to bullets but you could. The list gives the attendees an action or at least a description as to why they are there. I also sometimes say “be prepared to talk about the following” and the give the bulleted list. It helps those who are coming to know what they have to prepare before they actually show up. If I’m taking their time, I want them to know why. I also want them to come prepared so that I don’t waste my time having a meeting just to schedule another meeting. So, building on the ‘agenda’ for the 3 examples above:

a. And we’ll discuss – (this 2-bullet list is pretty much lame and a no brainer as it’s too generic to know if I should even attend or schedule this mtg but it’s still something rather than nothing)

i. Status of overdue items

ii. Q&A

b. And be prepared to discuss your plan to (this is better – gives more detail on the overdue tasks; and share the responsibility with the team to discuss solutions rather than singling out one person. Going to the team motivates them to come up with a solution ahead of time to present)

i. Get 3 overdue Coding task on track – Code Team

ii. Get 1 overdue Training session – Training Team

iii. Q&A

c. And be prepared to discuss your plan to (this is best since it gives the attendees an outline of what to prepare, include other resources that might be needed and paths to success through various channels. Not every meeting needs this detail; but it always helps to focus invitees)

i. Get 3 overdue Coding task on track – Code Team

ii. Get 1 overdue Training session – Training Team

iii. Support needed by me or management to escalate or redirect focus

iv. Time needed to complete each task

v. Other’s needed to attend - please forward invite to support

vi. Q&A

vii. Bonus Tip - See how it gets more and more detailed and everyone knows what’s going on in the meeting

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