A huge headache most of us can relate to is… we are invited to too many meetings! And most of them are unproductive. With too many unproductive meetings, people have less time to do actual work. You know the story – you’re in meetings all day and are forced to do your work during evenings or weekends. There goes your work-life balance!
Here are a few remedies from my course, “Running Productive Meetings”.
- Your Desired Outcome Drive the Agenda. Send an agenda with a clear objective to attendees ahead of time so they know how to prepare. When they walk through the door (or log into Zoom), people should know what to expect and the value they add. When everyone is prepared and stays on track, your meeting time will shrink. If people wonder, “why am I going to this meeting?”, you know you need to prepare an agenda and then stick to it.
- Invite Only People Who *Need* to Attend. If someone simply needs to ‘provide an update’, they probably don’t need to attend a meeting. They can provide the update to stakeholders prior to the meeting. On the other side of that coin, if someone simply needs to ‘stay updated’ on progress, give them the gift of an update after the meeting so they don’t need to attend. If either of these people do attend your meeting, I’ll bet my last dollar they are doing other work while sitting in your meeting.
- Leverage Technology. There are several products that make collaboration easy. A quick Google search will help you find the right tool based on whether you need to manage projects, share calendars or documents, or manage tasks. You can see everyone’s progress real time which can eliminate many of those status meetings.
If you contribute to a culture of productive meetings, you’ll be a hero to your co-workers.