It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a large or small company; views on meetings are largely universal. They’re often overused, inefficient, and generally a waste of time.
Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, but in a nutshell, meeting dynamics across the world can be reformed.
Taking this into account, when it comes to your own company’s meetings, how should you approach matters? Should you go with the flow and “become one of them”, or should you challenge the norm and take matters into your own hands? Suffice to say, today’s post is on how to achieve the latter.
Tread carefully with recurrent meetings
The software companies gave themselves a huge pat on the back when they allowed recurrent meetings to be scheduled at the quick of a button. In truth, this is a worthwhile feature for many meetings – but not all.
After all, while you might build a case for a weekly performance meeting, many other recurrent ones aren’t perhaps needed.
Now, before you suggest that you can simply “play it by ear” and decide when you get to the meeting, this is one of the easiest mistakes to make. After all, by the time everyone has arrived and discussed the matter at hand, regardless of how briefly, valuable time has been eaten away.
The moral of the story? Carefully decide whether your recurrent meetings really need to be recurrent.
Get the agenda out there – and make it actionable
There’s nothing worse than being called into a meeting only to find that there is no structure or agenda. In these cases, it often leads to a free-for-all where people can talk about anything and everything, regardless of how important it actually is.
Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but in general, an agenda is key. Not only does it give the meeting some much-needed structure, but it also allows you to assign actions to specific people. This, in turn, makes the meeting far more actionable and less of a time waster.
Stop people from going off on tangents
There’s always one person in every meeting that just can’t help themselves. They see the meeting as an opportunity to show off their knowledge, regardless of how relevant it is to the discussion.
While it’s important to allow some level of creativity, you also need to rein people in when they start to go off on tangents. After all, if everyone in the meeting starts to do this, it quickly descends into a free-for-all where nothing gets done.
Could a remote meeting do the trick?
It would be fair to say that we’re now well and truly in the age of remote meetings. Most of us are used to them now and like them due to how much time they can save us.
However, they don’t always work. This is particularly true if you want to impress new clients or perhaps need a whiteboarding session. In these instances, nothing quite beats the dynamics of a face-to-face affair. If you decide to go down this route, the obvious caveat is the knock-on effects. Whether booking that dreaded meeting room or ensuring your insurance obligations are up to scratch ahead of receiving external visitors, make sure you’re prepared for in-person meetings.
Keep it short and sweet
There’s no need to drag out meetings unnecessarily. If you can achieve everything you need to in 30 minutes, there’s no need to make it an hour-long affair.