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Meetings Communication

The last time I made a formal presentation before our group, a few people came in after I started, so I summarized what they had missed. My manager told me afterwards that if they did not get there on time, that's too bad for them, and there's no need to waste everyone else's time recapping what they missed. Does that seem like good advice to you?

If this is your manager's meeting and this is how he wants to run it, then the best advice is to follow his advice. He is sending an indirect message to all of the group indicating that if they are not present for the full meeting, they are going to miss out.

Of course, there are a few problems with his approach. For example, rather than sending indirect messages to the employees, it makes more sense to communicate directly so that they clearly understand the need to get to these meetings on time. It may also be helpful to look into the reasons why employees are straggling in late in the first place. This can include a careful look at the scheduling, length, and overall structure and usefulness of the meetings. Perhaps a future agenda should include a discussion of the ways to increase timely attendance.

Taken to an extreme, if employees continue to wander into the meetings every 5 minutes or so, it is possible that no more than 5 minutes of information could ever be imparted. At the same time, a prohibition against recapping information for late arrivals ultimately leads to misinformation and errors. Your group and manager should get together for a meeting of the minds on this issue.

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