Dear Boss: Besides that they suck, meetings waste time!

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Hold Your Next Meeting


S T A N D I N G ! 


It’s your company or professional practice, division, department, team or work group . . . and meetings are eating up valuable time that needs to be used more productively.  Welcome to the majority, dear boss!  You are not alone in your frustration.  There ARE however some steps you can take to eliminate or minimize the impact of time-wasting get-togethers. 

Here are two first steps you may want to consider:

     First, accept the fact that it’s worth taking the risk of changing your approach to meetings!  What’s the worst that could happen?  Next, take a minute to write a summary sentence of what a typical meeting is like and what’s typically wrong. 

Then, think on the sentence you wrote as you consider the following questions:

  • Do you use an agenda?  Is it circulated a day or two ahead of time so others can contribute topics under the (usually last, in case time runs out) new business section?  Is the agenda posted on newsprint or a posterboard or whiteboard or someplace where all can see it and keep track of topics and progress during the meeting? 
  • Do agenda points have names or initials of those designated or responsible next to each?  Is the agenda a reasonable length given the alloted time?  Do you STICK to the agenda?  Do you step up to tell someone who’s strayed from the agenda that this meeting needs to stay on the agenda and that the point raised is a good one but needs to be dealt with separately after the meeting or with a separate session?
  • Do you hold regular ongoing “status report” type meetings at regular set times at the beginning of every week or, in some cases when needed, at the beginning of every day?  Do you hold special monthly, quarterly, annual or semi-annual, or weekend retreat meetings?  Are these planned well in advance?
  • Are ONLY those whose input is essential invited to your meetings?  Are people kept captive in your meetings for an hour or more when they need only be present for a five or ten-minute hunk of time, and could more easily be scheduled in a specific times on the agenda?  Do you remember to ALWAYS praise in public and criticize in private? 
  • Do you solicit input from those attending or have them serve as an audience?
  • Do you take notes and specifically request that all attendees take handwritten notes?  (Laptops are too distracting!)  Are follow-up issues given (and held to) deadlines or due dates?  Are expectations about follow-up actions clear to everyone involved?  You’re sure?
  • Do you always start and end every meeting at exactly the times you advertise? 

     If you’ve been doing all or most of these things, and STILL have a meeting problem, remove the chairs from the meeting room, and conduct your next meeting STANDING!  Watch how fast things move and how little B.S. comes to the surface! 

     Finally, remember that:

 The more you manage by walking around, the less you’ll need to manage by sitting around!



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                                        or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

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