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Meeting notes

At the start of a new year, offices and companies work to create and/or update their goals. It brings to mind the two shoe salesmen who were sent to Africa. The first one came home and said, “It would be ridiculous to try and sell them shoes; they don’t wear shoes.” When the second salesman reported back, he said, “Send more shoes. This is a wide-open market!” It’s all in the attitude.

Thinking back on meetings in the past, we have likely heard many of these reasons why we can’t do something, and the counter balance of why we can. These selections may give you ideas of how you could react to the negative comments given and potential replies.

We’ve never done it that way before. Or, we have the opportunity to be first.



We already tried that. Or, we learned from the experience and tweaked it.

It’s a waste of money. Or, the investment will be worth it.



We’ll cannibalize our own sales. Or, we’ll do it before they do.

We don’t have the expertise. Or, we’ll network with those who do.

Our vendors won’t go for it. Or, let’s show them the opportunities.

We don’t have enough room. Or, temporary space may be an option.

No one communicates. Or, let’s open the channels.

We don’t have the equipment. Or, maybe we can sub it out.

We’re understaffed. Or, we’re a lean, mean machine!

It’s contrary to policy. Or. anything’s possible.

It’s not my job. Or, I’ll be glad to take responsibility.

Our company is the wrong size. Or, we are perfect for this project

It is not going to get any better. Or, we’ll try it one more time.

I don’t have any ideas. Or, I’ll come up with some alternatives.

We’re always changing directions. Or, we’re in touch with our customers.

It takes too long for approval. Or, we’ll walk it through the system.

Let somebody else deal with it. Or, I’m ready to learn something.

It’s not in the plan. Or, let’s rework the plan.

We’ve never done it that way before. Or, the opportunities are wide-open.

We can’t, I can’t. Or, we can, I can.

In the end new ideas often end up with a committee and whoever is chairman decides how aggressively the meeting times will be arranged. If the theory is a strong one that you believe in, and you are able, volunteer to be the committee head. That is a way to get the views aired while keeping the thoughts in a positive vein. If the group functions well, most kinks should be ironed out and most questions answered. At that point the decision whether or not to move forward and create a solid plan will be resolved, if it’s truly a team effort. Conversely if the person in charge is against the potential changes, meetings may be few and far between, if they are even called at all. In other words, the fate of the outcome rests heavily on the chairman’s shoulders.

-Sanders is a national award winning columnist who can be reached through her website at peggysanders.com.

Peggy Sanders

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