The Year of Fewer Meetings

Pretty much everyone hates meetings, which is a shame because I have learned that it doesn’t have to be that way. This article from Event Manager Blog offers some pretty good tips for how, when, and why to have meetings.

In the past few years, we’ve done a few things at Patron Technology to make sure all our meetings are really worthwhile. The first (and most important) step is to ask yourself why you need the meeting at all, and if the thing you want to get from the meeting can be derived in some other way. Oftentimes people think they need a meeting when really all they need to do is share information.

Second, as this article points out, make sure you know what the objectives of your meetings are. What is the thing you must come out of the meeting with – is it a decision, a set of conflicting points-of-view, or an action plan? If you don’t know that before the meeting it’s likely you won’t find the meeting all that useful.

A third point has to do with meeting length. Are your meetings scheduled for an hour? Or a half hour? Why? Why not make your meetings 20 minutes or 45 minutes? I’ve found that if they agenda is crisp, and you know exactly what your outcome should be, you need far less time than you expected.

Let’s say you have 3 meetings a week and you can reduce each by 10 minutes, that’s 30 minutes a week x 50 weeks — that’s 25 hours of time. You’ve just saved yourself over three work-days of time!

If you have meetings, why not enjoy them more by making them shorter and more efficient?

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