Most of us would agree that meetings are a big waste of time. No agendas, a lot of talk, and no outcomes…..other than to schedule another meeting. Think about how much time (money) is wasted because of groups of people sitting in worthless meetings.
Since I obviously hate meetings, I would like to pass along a few “meeting rules” that work for me and my colleagues. These rules work because they help us be more efficient and effective every single day.
- Instead of setting aside 30-60 minutes for a meeting that requires a minor decision, limit meetings to a maximum of 5 minutes. This rule is even more effective if everyone is standing during the meeting, rather than comfortably parked in chairs.
- Expect meeting participants (only invite decision makers) to “get to the point”. Minimize the use of presentations (they are usually too lengthy), and don’t hesitate to cut people short if they ramble.
- Eliminate “small talk” from meetings, and set a fast pace for focused discussion and decision making. You will be surprised how effective a timer or digital clock can be to limit and focus discussion.
- Utilize technology such as Skype, GoToMeeting, Facetime, and video conferencing to conveniently connect key individuals for a briefing or decision.
- Summarize meetings with a simple recap of what actions are to be taken as a result of the meeting, and who is accountable for execution.
These are simple, powerful rules that will speed up discussions and eliminate a lot of waste. Give them a try and let me know how they work for you.
By the way, since you won’t have to spend so much of your time in meetings, take a few minutes to view this entertaining video about how not to run a meeting:
How NOT to Run a Meeting
Warm personal regards,
Chief Executive Officer.