How to Shift a Meeting from Reactive to Proactive


Most people experience a great deal of stress when the unexpected happens. Perhaps they walk into work to find an immediate “issue†when they open their email or they feel as if they are always behind on their projects and tasks. Looming deadlines, impromptu meetings, and unanswered emails can make people feel like they are drowning in an endless stream of problems that need to be solved. Reacting to these issues in the moment can make you feel as if you are doing a constant juggling act. That’s why it is important to shift your mindset and create a more proactive approach. Here are some helpful tips for making your workplace meetings more proactive. 

Take time to figure out the purpose of the meeting. 

As soon as something unexpected happens you might be tempted to call a meeting to address the issue right away. The problem with reacting immediately is that you’re not taking the time to really understand what is causing the problem. In most cases, you have enough time to formulate a plan. Start by asking yourself:

  • Can this problem be solved right now?
  • Is there someone who can help me?
  •  Who is affected by this issue?
  • Has this happened before and could it happen again

When you give yourself time to think, you allow time to come up with a plan. This plan could involve a long-term solution so you can avoid a similar problem in the future. 

Avoid jumping to conclusions.

It is rarely effective to solve a problem before you have all of the information. When you react immediately to a situation, chances are you will end up missing something important or wasting time on a solution that isn’t relevant. Instead of diving right in, collect as much information as you can to better prepare for long-term solutions. 

Research ahead of time.

Identify the purpose of your meeting and then spend some time reading articles or researching current trends before your meeting. This will help you remain up to date on current happenings within your industry so that you can be proactive about making relevant decisions. 

Organize a plan for the meeting.

We’ve all left a meeting wondering what the purpose of that entire hour was. The last thing you want to do is waste everyone’s time hosting a meeting that covers every topic other than the one that should have been discussed. The solution to a more proactive meeting is to organize an agenda ahead of time along with a format for the discussion.