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« How big is your world? | Main | The two elements of a great presenter »

Three kinds of meetings

Meetings are marketing in real time with real people. (A conference is not a meeting. A conference is a chance for a circle of people to interact).

There are only three kinds of classic meetings:

  1. Information. This is a meeting where attendees are informed about what is happening (with or without their blessing). While there may be a facade of conversation, it's primarily designed to inform.
  2. Discussion. This is a meeting where the leader actually wants feedback or direction or connections. You can use this meeting to come up with an action plan, or develop a new idea, for example.
  3. Permission. This is a meeting where the other side is supposed to say yes but has the power to say no.

PLEASE don't confuse them. Confused meeting types are the number one source of meeting ennui. One source of confusion is that a meeting starts as one sort of meeting and then magically morphs into another kind. The reason this is frightening is that one side or the other might not realize that's actually occurring. If it does, stop and say, "Thanks for the discussion. Let me state what we've just agreed on and then we can go ahead and approve it, okay?"

While I'm at it, let me remind you that there are two kinds of questions.

  1. Questions designed to honestly elicit more information.
  2. Questions designed to demonstrate how much you know or your position on an issue and to put the answerer on the defensive.

There's room for both types of questions, particularly in a team preparing for a presentation or a pitch. Again, don't confuse them. I like to be sure that there's time for the first type, then, once everyone acknowledges that they know what's on the table, open it up for the second, more debate-oriented type of question.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Three kinds of meetings:

» of meetings and of questions... from marginally subversive
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» Seth Godin Defines Meetings from Tungle.blog
In a recent post, master marketer Seth Godin defines 3 classic types of meetings, and 2 types of questions, which help us understand why we meet and how.Here are a few takeaways from the post: Define the type of meeting... [Read More]

» Living in a world of meetings from Writing for (y)EU
Meetings are not only a practicable alternative to work, as the famous Internet meme claims. They belong to the standard kit of tools you need or are forced to use the moment you enter an organisation composed of more than three people. In the case of ... [Read More]

» Better Time Management with SmartCalendars from The Effective Marketer
Use your calendar to your advantage Using calendar the smart way I’ve noticed throughout the years that if something is not on my task list it won’t get done. Yes, I may remember the task from time to time and I write it down in a yellow sticky no... [Read More]

« How big is your world? | Main | The two elements of a great presenter »