Most people dread meetings because they seem to drag on forever and end up cluttered with complaints, side conversations and handout reviews. Schedule meetings with a focus on brevity to increase effectiveness and output.
Photo by Howie Le.
Marketing consultant Chris Brogan shares a set of tips for making meetings effective including this one on the importance of running a tightly scheduled meeting:
Schedule for Brevity: One of my old bosses, Dan Carney, used to tell me to schedule meetings to be no more than 10 minutes. As project manager, he had me do all the running around outside of the meeting so that I could have individual conversations with the stakeholders in the pending meeting, and so that I could hear them at length outside the time frame of the meeting. This worked magical wonders, for three reasons:
- People knew the meetings would be brief so they showed up on time.
- People knew I'd done my homework, so they just nodded their heads at the right parts.
- People gave their best efforts to be on the "good" side of the updates at these meetings, because being "behind" or "delayed" or in an otherwise negative status really stands out in a 10 minute meeting.
If you think you can't schedule meetings to be shorter than they are, you've never seen the President of the US's schedule. Meetings don't have to be 30 minutes, just because Outlook defaults to 30 minutes.
Partially by planning and partially by a series of circumstances we've pared back Lifehacker staff meetings. Traditionally, our meetings were roughly an hour long but after several weeks of issues cropping up (staff members ill, having to adjust the meeting schedule for travel plans, etc), we found that the actual meeting only needed to be about 20 minutes long — if everyone came to the meeting prepared and focused on getting the meeting done quickly. We were doing most of the one-on-one talking before the meeting, hashing out project details directly with the individuals involved and using the meeting more effectively as a tool for group discussion and checking in on project status. Shorter meetings have proven to be more effective, faster paced and more enjoyable.
Read the full article at the link below or for more tips on running an effective meeting check out the benefits of focusing on the data, why you should conduct meetings standing, and the importance of prepping your coworkers so meetings aren't wasted reviewing emails and documents.
How Not To Have Mind Numbing Office Meetings [Chris Brogan]