Running a meeting in India? Here are some helpful hints on how to do it....
- Don't bother with a purpose of the meeting, just decide you need one. You can come up with a reason later.
- Due to point 1, agendas are obviously not required either.
- Start times are flexible. (Captain Subtext interpreting......”Turn up whenever you want. Don't apologise if this is under ½ a day late”)
- End time is flexible. (Captain Subtext interpreting.....”No-one has anything better to do than listen to you. Feel free to run on well into the evening”)
- Don't bother preparing for the meeting, Definitely don't read any pre-meeting materials. You can read the documents in the meeting, this will make you look serious and professional.
- When you arrive, decide immediately that whatever seating arrangements have been set need to be changed. Rather than ask one person to resolve, better if everyone grabs nearest chair/table/desk and move it in a random direction a distance not exceeding 3cm.
- If someone is talking, but not directly to you, it can't be that important. Feel free to get up, walk around, go to the toilet, whatever you want....
- If someone is talking, but not directly to you, it can't be that important. If you don't need the toilet, why not get your phone out and take some photos? After all, if there isn't a photo of people sitting at a table, the meeting basically has no output.
- If you're explaining something to someone, it helps to write the exact words you're saying on a notepad and underline each one for emphasis. This is especially helpful if they understand completely the first time, ask a different question and you decide to repeat your previous answer.
- If you have a volunteer from the UK, who you still haven't arranged Hindi lessons for, definitely invite them to meetings run exclusively in Hindi. It's a great use of their time!
[For those suffering a sense of humour failure, this is meant to be tongue in cheek!]