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The "Role in a Meeting" Lesson is part of the full, Engineering Management Fundamentals 101 course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Jem discusses the roles and purposes of meetings in the context of engineering management while emphasizing the importance of understanding one's role in meetings, whether as the owner, producer, or consumer of information. Jem recaps the section and encourages managers to prioritize their time and only attend meetings that provide value, while also reminding them to focus on the people at the center of their work.


Transcript from the "Role in a Meeting" Lesson

>> So this is for you personally, we don't have to do it together, but what's your role in all these meetings? Are you the owner of the stand-up? Are you producing information? Who is the consumer? Who are you producing this information for? If you're consuming information, you're getting status updates, who's producing that information?

There's one of these things I promise if you walk through this, you will think a lot differently about your meetings, about what's important. Who am I talking to? Who am I getting information from? How should I behave in these meetings? We talked about showing up with no agenda.

Do you run meetings and you don't have an agenda? Or do you just wing it? Hey, what do you all wanna talk about today? Is that a good use of time? Probably not, so if you're the owner and you don't have an agenda, I don't know, something to think about.

But I highly encourage everybody to take some time whenever you can to walk through the roles and purposes of meetings. And think about your role. I'll say for a team meeting, my role is to run the team meeting but I don't want to be the one talking all the time.

That happens a lot because I'm on introverted team and I like to talk. My ideal team meeting is the team is talking to each other. I'm just moving people along or keeping the conversation's time box so we can get to all the topics. But that doesn't always happen, I would like it to.

Just something for me to work on myself. So, to recap the last section, what do engineering managers do? It depends, but people are always at the center and you can't ever forget that. Take advantage of every meeting, cuz you're getting something, you're delivering data, you're sharing data, it's used for morale and culture.

But every meeting has a purpose, and if it doesn't, and you don't feel it, don't attend. I tell this to my team all the time, if you're not getting value out of a meeting, you don't think you should be there, don't attend, let's talk about it. Don't waste your time, don't just be a seat or head on the screen if you don't need to be there, I believe strongly in that.

And you have to manage your time, there's more problems to solve and more things to do than you have hours in the week. Otherwise, you end up working 60 hours a week and you're like, shit, 10 more hours to work, and that's not healthy. Get it done in 40, and if you can't, re-prioritize.

And that's the truth of what engineering managers do.

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