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Why meetings are useful - But only if used properly!

Regardless of the level of maturity of each business or initiative in the field of primary care, GPs and executives are collaborating together to work through the challenges and achieve their goals. With a focus on the #thebusinessofhealthcare, I believe the skill set we have is immense, but you can also feel like you never know enough. The jargon, the commissioning, the papers, the targets, the technology, the patients, when things go wrong, the funding proposals, the contract consultations, the politics, the financial funding cycle, the duplication and the innovation are just a few of the elements we all have to juggle! However, the focus of this week’s post will be meetings.

This week is supposed to be my admin week where I’m predominantly office based. This is so I can work on the actions set in last week’s meetings and to plan for next week, but somehow I have 10 meetings scheduled in my diary.  Some meetings are catch up calls with my clients. I have a team meeting with my staff and a marketing meeting with my Virtual Assistant. Project update meetings and a network leads meeting with a GP Federation. Plus some interviews.  While all the top business gurus encourage protecting your time, saying no and even leaving meetings half way through, I believe that my attendance and contribution is important. These meetings are where I build relationships, deepen the knowledge of the context I'm working in, receive feedback that gives our initiatives more chance of success and decisions are made quicker here than over email. I get involved in the banter and we all understand how these initiatives are supporting the overall vision we’re trying to achieve. These meetings allow time for debate and to air frustrations. Some meetings are ad-hoc and others are regular fixtures in the diary with structure and action plans.  Sometimes the conversations are a little repetitive BUT thinking positively, the repetition gives us the opportunity to reaffirm our plans, progress to date and challenge where we need to.  Lastly, I find the more I get to know who I’m working with, these catch ups can move to phone calls, WhatsApp messages and online meetings which do save a considerable amount of time.

Not another meeting I hear you cry, but whilst I certainly don’t advocate meetings for the sake of it, l believe that this time can be a worthwhile investment.

What’s your take on meetings? Love them or loathe them?

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