By Penny Zenker
Question: I am waste a lot of time in meetings, please help?
Do you dread meetings? Does it feels like you spend a large part of your day in meetings and you have to work late just to get some work done. Are these meetings really productive? What discussions take place after the meetings – are these discussions productive?
Studies show that executives are spending 23 hours a week in meetings. 7.8 hours have been identified as wasted time due poorly run meetings, lack of follow-up and follow through or all together unnecessary. So maybe that feeling that there are too many meetings is well justified.
Meetings are necessary but like tool need to be used efficiently and effectively.
Now is a great time to review you meeting culture with your team and see if it needs an update.
Identify meeting types: Set clear objectives for your meeting so people know what kind of meeting they are attending an can prepare for it: Meeting types could be broken down into categories such as:
- Update meeting – each person can send a more detailed update by email leaving the update from each person short and focused around any issues to be resolved or open questions that everyone needs to hear.
- Workshop or brainstorming – these meeting are come with new ideas around a particular topic such as customer loyalty and retention or product innovation. These are often led by an experienced facilitator to keep these meetings productive.
- Team building / Social gatherings – this is time to connect and build a connection among the team.
- Decision making meetings – meetings to discuss the options and a process and criteria for deciding on the best solution.
Reduce the time of your set meetings: Parkinson’s Law says that you will use whatever time is allocated, so cut your meeting times in half and see your meetings get more effective with better preparation and clear objectives for the meeting.
Set some agreed rules of engagement: Leave your cell phones at your desk, only discuss issues relevant to the objective, prepare for the meetings, no meetings after the meeting, decisions made are accepted and supported, make it fun and any others that you feel will help to make your meetings more productive.
Document the meeting: Ensure the key points from the meetings are captured and a clear action list and accountability comes from the meeting.
Get on the same page. As you get together to discuss your meeting culture you will come up with some great ideas from your team. Remember people support what they create. Although it might mean another workshop meeting to discuss this, meetings when done in the right way, help people to take greater ownership and connect with the purpose of decisions being made and how the tasks fit into the greater picture and this is key to ongoing engagement.
This article was reprinted with permission from the author.
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Penny Zenker is a productivity expert, strategic business coach, international speaker and trainer, and best-selling author of “The Productivity Zone. Penny is the creator of the P10 Productivity Accelerator System based on her extensive experience as a successful entrepreneur, and a Tony Robbins Coach. She will challenge you to think differently and inspire you to be your best.