8 November 2009

Preparing your boss for meetings away from the office or at home

I had a good tip from my boss that I have used to help me prepare him for meetings whether they are away  or at home. He advised that I ask myself the following question for any meeting he is asked to attend:

What would I need if I was going to the meeting?

From that initial question, I have developed questions I ask myself before I schedule meetings for my boss that I thought I would pass on in case it would be useful to some of my readers:

1. What is the purpose of the meeting?

2. Does your boss need to be at the meeting? Can someone go in his or her place if they are not available?

3. What dates and times does he or she have available (keeping in mind time zones for away meetings)?

4. If the meeting is accepted -- What does your boss need for the meeting and who will be in attendance?

  • Secure the date and time in his or her calendar, taking into consideration travel time if outside the office.
  • State the purpose of the meeting in the calendar appointment as well as who will be at the meeting (i.e. Meeting with Mr. Brown and Ms. Smith to discuss strategies for upcoming marketing conference).
  • Follow up with the meeting organizer to request agenda and/or meeting materials, pre-reading, etc.
  • Where is the meeting being held?
  • If it is an internal meeting, has a meeting space been booked? Do you need to book it or were you provided with location. Enter it in calendar.
  • If it is an external meeting, but local, enter location of meeting in calendar, provide your boss with address and directions, contact phone number, taxi chit.
  • If outside the city, make travel arrangements: are flights required, train or will he or she be driving.  If flying, which is the best airport to fly into, is a hotel room required, is a map required for directions once they get there.  Provide a contact number.
  • Ensure that prior to the meeting you have received everything your boss will need, which may require follow up with meeting organizer.
  • Prepare a meeting package for your boss and bring forward prior to the meeting to give them adequate time to review (hardcopy or electronic depending on your boss’s preference).
If your boss calls the meeting...
If your boss has called the meeting then you need to find out when the meeting needs to be held by, who needs to be there, purpose of the meeting and what materials they will need. Once you have those details you can start the scheduling process to find a convenient time for everyone.

When the meeting date is secured, provide participants with location and time, purpose of meeting and ensure space is booked.

Depending on how formal the meeting is, you may need to draft an agenda for your boss’s review and forward to meeting participants in advance of the meeting.

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