Meetings have a bad rep and in a lot of cases it is well deserved. Just mention having a meeting and all you hear is
“Never ending meetings”
“All my time is spent at these things and I’m not getting any work done”
“Not another meeting!”
As much as we would all like to spend more time on ‘doing’ it is sometimes easy to forgot that a lot of the decisions we need and actions we are currently undertaking are generated from meetings.
Well run efficient meetings at which everyone knows the objective and respects each others time are invaluable. Efficient meetings can also save time and energy when working on complex projects and can help build team ethos.
First decide if the meeting is really needed.
Don’t have a formal meeting:
- if you can get the required response/buy-in/actions from an email
- a stand up (10/15 minutes) can do
- if you only need two minutes of a person’s time to get their approval
Do have a meeting if
- you have clear objectives and the ‘right’ people in the room
- the subject matter is complex and involved
- the objectives are clear
Think about the cost of your meeting. Are your objectives worth the time/man-hours spent? Especially if you are looking to schedule a recurring meeting.
∑ ((average salary ÷ 2080 hours) × (meeting duration × occurrences)) × no. of attendees
And finally, remember to exit the meeting with a clear set of actions, timelines and owners and follow up on them!
It is worth taking a look at this article from Mindtools about running effective meetings.
FYI, the meeting cost calculation is based on Irish standard working days 260 at 8 hours a day. Please alter to suit your local working hours.