I guess I just could not get away from this daily ritual. Meeting. There is no fun whatsoever in doing this but we have to do it anyway. I have never come across someone who can make meeting fun and enjoyable because the very nature of it , it is no fun. I just wish to come across such a person; he /she must be really something. Anyway, since my admin appointment and a regular at the faculty’s meeting , I have picked up a few soft skills:
1. Don’t lose your temper over an issue; it’s not worth it. If it is so important to you than stick to it but if the meeting is not going your way, let it be. There are other ways to resolve your issue. For some , meeting seems the only way but believe me there are other ways as well. Find them.
2. Drowning an issue. When the meeting is facing an issue deems sensitive to the upper board; the issue will eventually get dismissed. If you raised an issue that you think important but others don’t, they will start picking up your issue bit by bit until a completely new issue emerges. Your issue has been drowned and if no effort from you to save it then it will be gone.
3. If you have something to say then say it at the beginning of the meeting. Mr Chairman, Sir, before we start let me say……if Mr Chairman is a happy chap that day you will be lucky but otherwise you might get a smackdown. But always try your luck because if you say it at the eleventh hour of the meeting nothing will get through; we would either be too hungry to stay on or too tired to contemplate your statements.
4. Get an early start. Sometime you can try putting your issue ahead through an email. This can also be a good tool to lobby a decision.
5. Better late than never. Being late to a meeting is more acceptable than being absent altogether. Cook up a good excuse and you are as good as the others. You can catch up with the agenda later on with the secretary that you must always be nice to.
6. Keep your honorable manner with the chairperson and respect your colleagues. Address people properly.Always begin with “ Tuan Pengerusi, izinkan saya …..”. Talking big as if you are the most intelligent person there is a strategy from yesterday; no one will respect you for that.
7. If there is one meeting that you can avoid then skip this one …..meeting with bendahari (bursar). It will drag on and on .
8. Never keep your wife or kids waiting until you finish the meeting. It will never finish. Make arrangements way beforehand.
9. Always take notes. Sometime minutes of the meeting are not exactly the same as what has been agreed upon. You will find your scribbles more important than ever.
10. Don’t serve double standards with your staff; inside or outside the meeting. Be truthful. If you promise to support your staff then by all means support him/her; even if that means sticking your neck out. Some people promise something outside the meeting but once inside he’s a sucker only good to save own ass. Be honest to yourself and your people.
OK that’s it. Good luck in your next meeting.