Meetings Sheemeetings!

Why is it that we feel empowered by arranging running a meeting?

Why is it that meetings often are a complete waste of time?

Well if either of these are the case, then you are not managing your meetings or the requests for meetings well enough (trust me – I’ve learnt the hard way!)

We live in a working world where a meeting seems important, people hustle to attend them and are worried if they aren’t invited to them yet unless they are managed and planned effectively they aren’t worth the time in your diary.

Tips that I have been given along the way to make meetings more worthwhile:

  • Do you really need to attend? Check, if there’s no real agenda and you aren’t sure what the meeting will be about then decline. Your time can be better spent.
  • Insist on an agenda – it makes complete sense as you will know how the meeting will run and what it will include. You can decide then if it’s worth you attending.
  • Cut down the time – book in 30 or 45 minute meetings instead of 1 hour ones, By cutting down each meeting by 15-20 minutes and your diary will soon free up time.
  • Don’t back to back – it may make you seem uber-busy or stop you from having other to do’s that get inbetween, but it will also mean you have no time to actually deliver anything that you need to from the meetings you do attend.
  • Make sure your meeting start on time – don’t disrespect your meeting guest by not being ready – their time is as valuable and they should do the same at their meetings. Start meetings on time whether all guests are there or not – it’s not fair for them to waste yours or anyone else’s time.

If you are arranging a meeting use this plan of action:

  1. Establish an agenda and time limit and stick to it. Keep the meeting brief and focused.
  2. Make sure all parties come to the meeting prepared with the updated information you need to discuss the current reality.
  3. Ask the person what action they will “complete” in the coming week to move each goal forward (or address any issues that have been identified above).
  4. Follow up to make sure each task gets checked off as done.
  5. Ask what support or resources they need from you to help them succeed?
  6. Ask if there are any other issues that they would like to raise?
  7. Share any issues or feelings you would like to raise.
  8. Finish on a high note.

My final word on this. Remember meetings are important for communication, action lists and planning but they need to be planned and executed well. Get your meetings in shape and you will find you will accomplish more… one meeting at a time!


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