Facilitate a Productive Meeting: How to Prevent a Waste of Time

In a prior blog post about how to facilitate a productive meeting, I mentioned an appointment for which the medical professional was completely unprepared. You can read the details here, but the short version is that we took off a day from work for this appointment, waited for over one hour to see this “professional,” and were told that the results were not in.

Well, here’s round two of the saga.

After the first appointment fiasco, we received a voicemail from this very same medical professional  that the testing had been approved by our insurance company and that the results would be available in seven to ten business days.

Being ever so cynical after the first disastrous appointment, we scheduled this appointment on a day we’d already planned to take off from work. We chose the earliest appointment possible so that if she flaked out again, we’d start the day on a low note, but would enjoy the rest of the day with what we had already planned.

I’m glad we set things up this way because guess what? Urology San Antonio screwed up again. When my husband and I were waiting (again) in one of the patient rooms, my husband stepped out to use the restroom. While wandering down the hallway, he spotted his nurse practitioner speaking animatedly on the phone and typing frantically on the computer, all at the same time. When he got back to the patient room, he said to me, “Guess what I just saw?” We both started laughing because we knew what she was doing…and why.

Thirty minutes later, she walked into the room. She wasn’t smiling, so we didn’t smile either. She apologized profusely and explained that once again, the test results were not in. She finally admitted the stupidity of the situation. It made us feel a little better that she had some sort of empathy and understanding of how much time of ours she’d wasted, but it still didn’t change the fact that her office had screwed up. Again.

Even though it wasn’t our responsibility, this is what we should have done to facilitate a productive meeting and avoid another waste of time:

              The week before, call the doctor’s office to confirm:

                             the date and time of the meeting

the objective of the meeting

the possession of the documents needed for this meeting to occur

If you deal with unreliable people or companies in your work life or business life, sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands. If we’d gone through the above confirmation process and showed up and not received the results, I definitely would’ve moved forward with the painful task of searching for a different urologist that was highly recommended but also in network.

But since we didn’t go through this process, I’ll be taking the lazy way out and will wait – again – for the results. But this is a conscious choice, so if Urology San Antonio doesn’t come through – again – this will be on me, because I made the choice to not take action. For complete step-by-step instructions on how to develop and facilitate a productive meeting, be sure to read Chapter 29 in The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

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