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If you’re assigned prework for a meeting or training event, how do you approach it?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

If you’re assigned prework for a meeting or training event, how do you approach it?

  • Rigorously: I do all the prework to the best of my ability: 39%
  • Seriously: I do the work, but I don’t overexert myself: 48%
  • Minimally: I do the bare minimum required of me: 11%
  • I don’t do it: I have enough to do without adding more work to the pile: 2%

Be prepared. Prework is assigned for a reason. Think back to how many meetings or training programs you’ve attended where someone said it was a waste of time and they didn’t get a lot out of it. That perspective could be directly related to the effort they put into pre-work assigned for the event. People running training programs and meetings know your time is precious. Pre-work is a way to accelerate learning and make for a better classroom session or meeting environment. The next time you’re attending an event that requires pre-work, consider the impact of not doing it. While only 13% of you tend to blow it off, you’re forcing that instructor or facilitator to spend extra time getting you caught up in the session or they have to make the decision to leave you behind and focus on the 87% of people who properly prepared. Your actions have a larger impact than just your experience in the session. You — and your colleagues — get out of it what all of you put into it.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”