Through my experience mentoring designers, I've noticed a tendency to oversimplify a meeting's purpose. We stop at "present website concepts" then focus our preparation on explaining what we've designed as clearly and confidently as we can.
Some meetings go well; others don't. When they don’t, we feel bad. When we don’t know how to improve for next time, we feel even worse. It can be challenging to surface these insights when our only focus was what we were planning to say, missing who we were saying it to or why.
A simple practice I enjoy is taking a few minutes to collect my thoughts on what I expect from a meeting before it takes place. After the meeting, I can revisit my notes, reflecting on how it went and what I’ve learned.
This habit is a powerful tool for not only leading meetings more effectively but feeling better doing so. Below are ten questions to use as a guide:
- How do I feel heading into the meeting? Do I have the energy to participate fully?
- What information do I hope to gain today?
- What questions might the client (or my peers) ask? How will I respond?
- How do I want the client (or my peers) to feel by the end of our meeting? Me?
- How will I know this meeting was a success?
- How do I feel right now?
- What did not go as planned? Why?
- What went well? Why?
- Do I have what I need to move forward? If not, how will I capture what I need?
- On a scale from 1 to 5, rate the success of this meeting. Why this rating?
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