August 02nd, 2016
How to Make Your Real Estate Meetings Productive
© 2016 by M. Mitch Freeland
While meetings come in all shapes and sizes, (one-on-one, small groups or large groups), the single greatest aspect of a meeting is to have its purpose defined upfront: Why is there a meeting being held? The leader heading up the meeting should certainly be able to describe the event as well as all member participants.
According to Peter Drucker, “The Man Who Invented Management” (Business Week), there are six kinds of meetings:
1. A meeting to prepare a statement, an announcement or a press release. A draft of the statement should be presented before the meeting. And after the meeting a final draft should be disseminated.
2. A meeting to make an announcement, such as an organizational change. Only the announcement and question regarding it should be discussed.
3. A meeting in which one member reports. Only the report ought to be discussed.
4. A meeting in which several or all members report. Report should be discussed and clarified and questions about the subjects of the reports answered. There should be a discussion set for each report and a specific time frame set—say 10 or 15 minutes per report. Discussions should include questions for clarification, along with the answers.
5. A meeting to inform the convening executive. Executive should not make a presentation. He should only ask and answer questions.
6. A meeting whose only function is to allow the participants to be in the executive’s presence. There is usually no effective reason for this type of meeting other than being around an executive. Perhaps it could be used as a motivating or inspiring measure.
Having an effective meeting means knowing what kind of meeting you will be having. Different meetings are prepared differently and require different results. The leader of the meeting must remain focused on the reason for the meeting and stay with the same format. Also important is the realization of time and purpose—to end the meeting when the subject of the meeting has been satisfied or accomplished. Good leaders don’t waste time; they recap the points and terminate the meeting.
Alfred Sloan, “The Most Effective Business Executive” according to Drucker, was in charge of General Motors from the 1920s to the 1950s. Most of his time was spent in meetings. His process of running a meeting effectively consisted of these fine points:
After the meeting, he drafted a memo summarizing the meeting and its conclusions, if further study was necessary and any work to be done to. He sent a deadline for the assignment, and named the individual who was to be responsible for the completion of the work. He then sent a copy of the memo to all participants at the meeting.
Meetings can either be productive, effective, and positive, or a complete waste of time, of resources and manpower. “Effectiveness is a discipline. And, like every discipline, effectiveness can be learned and must be earned.” (Peter Drucker)
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