How to Have Better Meetings
How do business people spend about 17 hours each week? You guessed it; in meetings. Sales meetings, project meetings, staff meetings, quality meetings and so on.
Our modern workplace now demands that people, teams, and sometimes different organizations pull together to obtain the desired results. Complexity of problems and opportunities require the collective input of various sources and backgrounds to find unique and highly effective solutions.
When people work together, one inevitable event occurs that causes a collective groan. The “Meeting” is the worst, least popular time waster of them all. What’s with this aversion to meetings? Just what is a meeting? Are they necessary? If necessary, how can we improve their effectiveness?
To make your meetings more productive and effective, incorporate the following four phases into the plan for each meeting:
1) Determine a clear focus and be action oriented — what do you want to accomplish?
2) Make sure that all necessary resources are available including advance information, the proper people, and adequate facilities.
3) Stay focused during the meeting by following your timetable, and accurately record all decisions and follow-up actions.
4) Evaluate the process — have the group discuss and identify good and bad aspects before they leave the meeting.
Statistics: Meetings are necessary — but poorly run meetings are a terrible waste of time. A recent survey of American business people provided us with this statistic: people spend an average of 17 hours each week in meetings. This is not necessarily an excessive amount, but respondents said that 5 of these 17 hours were wasted time. this is an average of one hour each day wasted! Poorly run meetings are one of our biggest time wasters, so make sure your meetings are focused on your agenda.
Meeting Maddeners: Most frequently mentioned problems include:
1) late starts;
2) run too long;
3) lack of focus for the meeting;
4) straying off the subject;
5) inviting the wrong people to the meeting; and
6) lack of closure or clear decisions.
Solve these problems and you will have better meetings in half the time!