Meetings are Too Big Too Frequent and Too Long
Nearly 7 in 10 complain meetings distract from work.*
Meetings are good when…
- You’re disappointed they’re over.
- You learn, strengthen connections, gain useful information, participate in decisions.
How many meetings are too big, too frequent, and too long? One person said, “All of them.”
- Make a ‘no passive observer’ rule. Monitor participation. People who don’t actively participate don’t need to attend (Or you need to encourage their participation).
- Eliminate the assumption that everyone needs to attend all meetings.
- Eliminate the assumption that the same people attend the same meetings.
- Disinvite higher ups unless you need their sign off. Send a brief report instead.
- Include people close to the work.
Tip: Make the two-pizza rule. You should be able to feed everyone in the room with two medium pizzas.
- Will work continue smoothly without meeting? If you have a weekly department meeting, skip a week. If you have a monthly department meeting, push it back two weeks.
- Consider the time people dedicate to preparing for meetings.
- Use alternative methods to communicate. Will an update email work?
- Evaluate quarterly. Ask the team what would happen if you stopped having this meeting?
- Make back-to-back meetings illegal!
- Shorten 60-minute meetings to 50 minutes and 30-minute meetings to 25 minutes.
- Train meeting facilitators. Who made the rule that the most important person in the room runs the meeting? A little humility serves teams well.
- Divide work between small taskforce groups and report at the end of the meeting.
- Guide participation:
- Begin with conclusions. offer explainations after.
- Complete this sentence: The two biggest obstacles to this project are…
- Complete this sentence: The best way to move this forward in my view is…
- Fill in this sentence: I will have _______ done by the end of the week.
- Determine the outcome and keep people on topic!
What’s one thing that would make the meetings you attend better?
Which of the above suggestions could you try?
*Working or Wasting Time (Korn Ferry)
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