Unless for self-directed pursuits, everyone dislikes wasting time and especially so when in the presence of others in the context of a useless meeting.
If you are in a leadership position and cannot effectively lead meetings then your tenure will be short, but even if your meetings are purposeful ,include agendas and conclude with action items you still must make a thoughtful decision about who you are going to spend time with and how often.
As a building principal or other district administrator you should communicate a yearly schedule for your planned meetings well in advance of the start of the school year. This allows your subordinates to then further organize their own schedules and to plan their meetings.
As a campus principal, regardless of building size, who should you schedule formal meetings with and how frequently?
- Administrative team (obvious to most, but some principals when beleaguered will “bunker up” and begin to neglect even these meetings
- Registrar(if at a high school) and/or attendance clerk
- Athletic Director or campus coordinator
- Academic Team meetings (depending on the size of the school you personally may only be able to attend the meetings of one department or even one subject)
- Team leaders/dept chairs
- PTO/Parent Volunteer Leadership
- Site Based Leadership Team
There are many other meetings you will have to schedule (as directed by your supervisor(s) or dictated by urgency) and several others that you should schedule that may be seasonal (pep rally planning, UIL, testing, etc.) or project based. However the list above is a core set of meetings that you want to have scheduled and communicated to your staff before school starts.
Properly scheduling a meeting includes more than reserving a room and sending an outlook appointment. Your planning should also include:
- Soliciting agenda items from attendees prior to the meeting
- Distributing pertinent material for the meeting, including the agenda, to attendees before the meeting
- Reviewing electronic or paper copies of the previous meeting to keep track of action items
- A well planned agenda
Most of us have at least a few great ideas, but only the good and great leaders are able to effectively use meetings to move the intended to the implemented.
For further study:
Patrick Lencioni’s Death by Meeting (to learn about different meeting types)
Who else should you meet with?