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Issues shouldn't derail a meeting - here's how to avoid it

Today we will talk about the most common cause for a meeting to be derailed.

It is very common that throughout the course of the meeting discussion we identify an issue in the business. And all too easily, what can happen is we find ourselves being very distracted and getting caught up in that particular issue, I am sure that you would agree that this can derail the whole meeting.

One of the tricks that we've learned is to actually include an agenda item called an issue log. When we are moving through our agenda, if an issue comes up and a discussion is developing, the chairperson should actually pull it up and ask if this an issue. If it is an issue, we would terminate the conversation at that point, and drop it into the issues log, continuing on with the other parts of our agenda. 

When you do get to the agenda item of the issues log, you're probably going to now have a number of issues sitting in there, and potentially some of them have even carried over from prior meetings.

We then need to be able to define what's the most important issue is for us to deal with during the discussion. Proportionally, in a meeting, these sorts of discussions can take quite some time. We recommend that in a meeting agenda, you allocate at least 30 minutes to deal with things like issues.

In many cases, issues are actually avoided and this can be a huge mistake. We quite purposely encourage the identification of issues. The reason for this is that once an issue is identified, and you actually understand the root cause of that issue, you can then act and put measure in place to remove that issue from the business.

Now remember to resolve issues effectively, we always need to identify the action that will resolve it, who's going to be responsible for that action, and when they are going to physically complete it by.

If you encourage issues to be raised, manage your meetings effectively so they aren’t derailed, and put accountability around that action identify to rectify these issues, you will be surprised how much progress you can actually make in your business.

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