be in charge

I had a conversation with a colleague today about the best way to run a meeting.  The smoothest meetings occur when the meeting planner has ultimate authority onsite.

What do I mean by this?  Well, think about a meeting like a project.  When a project has more than one project manager, the project team doesn’t know who to listen to when the managers don’t agree.  It’s the same with a meeting.  If there’s more than one “top banana” onsite, then the staffers don’t know whose rules to follow or where to turn for answers that will stick.  And, the person who planned the meeting should be the person who has all the right answers.

Unfortunately, in some organizations, the culture doesn’t give the planner enough authority to be truly effective onsite.  So, things can get confused rather quickly.  This conundrum is harder to overcome the larger your meeting is.

The best way to avoid this situation?  Have a set of meetings guidelines that everyone in the meetings department follows.  Show that these guidelines help all of the players in the meeting, and obtain leadership buy-in, to give the guidelines teeth.  Then you’ll be able to make sure that all of the staffers follow the same guidelines, and you’ll be able to obtain the authority to ensure a smooth meeting.


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