Have you ever gone to a meeting, come out of it, and said to yourself, "Well, that was a waste of time"? And do you think others have done that when they've met with you? Whose fault do you think that is?
If you're being really honest with yourself, it's your fault!
One of the key things you have to be very clear about is what you want the end of a meeting to look like. If you can't say to yourself, "Here's what I want to achieve in this meeting..." the chances of that happening are very slim. There will be a gap between your unspoken expectation, and what actually happens.
And the even bigger challenge is the other person's gap! Because almost everyone has some type of expectation of what they want to get out of a meeting. But seldom do they actually verbalize it.
Most people will not come to you and say, "We're meeting tomorrow. Here are the three things I want to get out of that meeting."
It's just not the way most of us are wired!
Yet, here's what happens after the meeting: The other person leaves the meeting with you, and they say to themselves, "Well, that's not what I thought it would be." Or, even worse, they say that to somebody else.
And if you didn't really dig to find out what they wanted to accomplish, that gap is your fault!
When they hang up the phone, or they drive away from your office, or you drive away from their office, there's an expectation that was either met or not met. And if there's a gap that's unmet, it's your fault.
You didn't dig deep enough at the beginning of the meeting, in the middle of the meeting, or even both. You needed to find out what would really make it a good use of their time.
Of course, that's an easy thing to say. But it's a tough concept to learn, and even harder to make into a habit.