A colleague, Jon Myers, was discussing on Facebook how some meetings he had participated in had gotten a little out of control recently. I offered a few quick strategies to him. Here’s what I said to Jon:
- Hold 15-minute stand up meetings. No chairs allowed.
- Have a defined agenda that includes a) what you’re going to discuss and b) what you hope to accomplish.
- Focus your meetings on problem-solving and decision-making. If you have something to tell someone, email them.
- If there are multiple items, define how long you intend to spend on each one. In a 15-minute meeting, you can’t have too many items. This causes people to be focused.
- Use a timer. When the timer goes off, stand up and walk out. If you weren’t finished, people will learn to be more succinct and prepare better the next time.
I know. It sounds harsh, but your time is valuable. Don’t waste it on stuff that won’t add value to your company, your products / services or your customers.
It should also be noted that we made time to socialize. Our meetings were about being efficient and getting work done though, so social time came before or after, as people’s schedules permitted.
What other strategies do you have for getting the most out of a meeting? Sound off below in the comments.