Meetings are temporal black holes. Invariably, they waste time which could be better spent on clients. From meetings that stretch on for hours, to meetings that should never have existed in the first place, here are some common meeting errors – and how you can avoid them.
Do you need a meeting?
Meetings can be about building a consensus, explaining a concept or rallying the team together. All very positive, but do you really need to book a room and interrupt the working day for it? One of the biggest meeting mistakes is organising them in the first place. Think whether the content of your meeting could be communicated more effectively elsewhere.
Meat in the room
When arranging a meeting, make sure you get those people turning up who actually need to be there. Every meeting should be productive, and to be so the content needs to be relevant.
When it comes to the ideal number of people, that’s a completely different question but the principle of assessing relevance remains.
Keep it snappy
Shorter, snappier meetings are often the most effective. Apple, often regarded as the kings of the presentation, have a 10 minute rule. If your meetings themselves are very often presentation-based, it’s not a bad place to start.
It’s not just the scouts who need to be prepared, it’s business people too. If you are having a meeting, have a clear agenda and ensure that everyone is up to speed before they attend.
If 12 people take 5 minutes to read something, you’ve wasted an hour of your businesses time and money.
It’s too easy to become a slave to the calendar, with meetings affecting your ability to get work done.
Rather than accept every request, filter them and accept or decline them like a Victorian gentleman, assessing each on its merits and your business standing. Founder of Next Jump, Charlie Kim has his own unique way of tackling meeting fatigue, but why not develop your own?
Keep it snappy
Meetings are about making decisions, not friends. Make sure people are well prepared, turn up on time and the meeting functions effectively. If you’re the chair, dispense your duties effectively and keep things tight, free-flowing and on-point.
Do you follow these meeting rules? Try them out in 2015 and watch your meeting productivity soar!