Meetings…meetings…meetings…it seems as though they consume our day, and in part frustrate us more than energize us. Harvard professor, Nancy Koehn estimates that 11 million meetings are held each day in the US. 11 million…let that resonate for a moment…not sure of the average meeting size, but for simplicity let’s just say 10…and just for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that just 15 minutes of each meeting is a waste of time…11,000,000 meetings X 10 people X 15 minutes wasted time….staggering isn’t it???
Kevin Kruse recently published the Anatomy Of A Bad Meeting in his blog, which outlined 5 common mistakes that are easily remedied to have productive meetings.
Mistake 1: Starting meetings late. Whatever the excuse, starting meetings late is simply a terrible practice which is result of unprofessional behavior, fueling a cultural phenomenon training people to come late. Talk about a waste of time…
The Fix: Start ON TIME and END on time. Many of those in YOUR meeting are scheduled to be somewhere AFTER your meeting. VALUE people’s time. My personal mantra has always been, “Start on time, leave a bit early!”
Mistake 2: The wrong people are at the meeting and have little to nothing to offer. Choose your members wisely.
The Fix: When in doubt…leave them out!
Mistake 3: Spending too much time on trivial issues, nitpicking and debating while the least amount of time is spent on the most important issues.
The Fix: Jeff Bezos at Amazon opens his meetings with 30 minutes of silence where members of his team read summaries, think, make notes, and prepare for meaningful discussion.
Mistake 4: Meetings are scheduled at the wrong times interfering with the natural flow of the workday.
The Fix: Poll your team as to best time of day or best day to meet. Consider a workday Wednesday where NO meetings are allowed (Click Here for Quip on Workday Wednesdays)
Mistake 5: The wrong people dominate the meeting as by their nature, the overconfident, and the extroverts tend to take over the agenda.
The Fix: The facilitator must be a master of drawing everyone into the dialogue using thoughtful, discerning, open-ended questions.
If bad meeting culture isn’t addressed it can spread like a terminal disease throughout your organization. But identifying the symptoms and root causes, a reflective leader can begin to apply the correct cures.
Be good to yourself…