Meetings can be a great way to get everyone on your team on the same page. They can also pull people away from their work and waste their time. Before beginning a meeting, make sure that everyone present needs to be there.
Photo by Mark Jensen.
It's tempting, when hosting a meeting, to invite everyone on a team, department or crew to be present just to "touch base". However, those people have jobs to do as well. As Qwest COO Teresa Taylor points out, if employees present don't have a reason to be there, let them leave to get work done:
I get invited to a lot of meetings where someone wants to brief me, or bring me up to speed on something, which usually means that they want to tell me about their project and then ask me for money. So I open with: "Do we all know why we're here? Are we making decisions? Are you going to ask me for something at the end?" I try to get that out right away.
Of course, the argument can be made that getting face time with coworkers you might not otherwise see is a good reason to have a meeting. However, if the main reason to have someone present is so they can hear information that could just as easily be sent in an email, maybe let them get back to work.
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