Nobody likes to have their time wasted. If you do, this blog is not for you.
Do you really need a meeting in the first place? - Too many unnecessary meetings happen across America. So much valuable time is wasted because mangers or leaders enjoy speaking or holding meetings to elevate their power of value. Before you even consider planning your next meeting, ask yourself if there is a more effective and efficient way to communicate what needs to be said. Explore your options. Meetings should be held to an absolute minimum.
Plan meetings efficiently and effectively. - So, you have evaluated the need for a meeting and, oh crap, you really need one! Be strategic in determining when and maybe even more importantly, WHERE. At what time will this meeting cause the least amount of distraction? Establish how long the meeting really needs to be… shave 10 minutes off of that number. Start on time. End on time. Make this a habit. Five lost minutes here and there at the beginning and end of meetings accumulate quickly. You’d be surprised how much those lost minutes total come year’s end.
Have a defined and focused agenda. - Take the time to be very strategic in your planning. Be specific as to what needs to be addressed and why. What is the desired outcome? Stick to your timeline as best you can while being flexible when needed. Aim to end 5 minutes early (plus the 10 minutes I earlier suggested you shave off every meeting). I just saved you 15 minutes. You’re welcome.
Does everybody really have to be there or could they be optimizing their time elsewhere? We’ve all been in a meeting at some point where we wondered what the… “Did I really need to be here. I could have been spending valuable time with clients or finishing those spread sheets…. taking the time to daydream, nap or exercise to optimize my energy and focus.
Get to the point. - Please already.
Be decisive in your conclusions. - If you have planned your meeting effectively with a strategy (steps 1-5), then it will be easier to execute on a decision and action plan. Adaptation to the conclusion should be an option. Please don’t schedule another meeting to go over the adaptations. Send me a memo, text or…
Set your people free ASAP. - Congrats on executing a great meeting with those that needed to be there within an effective time frame. Set them free to begin working on the plan. Don’t dilly dally and have too many chefs speaking and adding one last comment at the end. That includes you. We all “hate” that person that just keeps talking. Don’t be that guy (or gal). And they lived happily ever after. This meeting is adjourned.