Meetings can be both the source and scourge of productivity. You need to plan your staff’s next move but will spend all day in the boardroom “planning.”
There are ways to curtail the ineptitude and wastefulness. Below, six ways to keep your next meeting short, sweet, and to the point.
- Prepare a detailed and well-understood agenda. Before the meeting begins, in fact before inviting colleagues to the meeting, outline exactly what’s will be discussed and what decisions need to be made.
- Invite as few people as possible. Worse than getting CC’d on an email that doesn’t concern you is to attend a meeting you didn’t need to. Don’t put others through this. More importantly, the fewer the people, the less the input; smaller numbers mean fewer minutes in the meeting.
- Ditch the chairs. Keep attendees thinking on their feet (literally) by making your meeting standing-only. It’ll keep things high energy, short, and to the point.
- Start on time. Just do it. Provide incentives for being on time, like better snacks, and keep things on track.
- Set a timer. Start and end your meetings according to a stopwatch that everyone in the room can see.
- Don’t have a meeting at all. Instead, try to settle issues over email or phone or in informal one-on-one chats. Meetings have the bad rep they do because bosses call meetings unnecessarily. Don’t be that boss.