If you’re like most people, you’ve spent time in at least one meeting that went on and on with no apparent purpose, without an agenda, with minimal or no follow through, and without resolution. You might even have wondered why you were there at all. Certainly, there were far better uses of your time.
Meetings can be a huge time waster if not done correctly. Good meeting preparation is essential for productive meetings.
Effective meetings consist of the following:
A Tight Agenda: Ensure you have an agenda, with time limits attached to each agenda item.
A Potential Alternative: Decide if it is more effective and less time-consuming to handle things by email or phone.
Abbreviation, when possible: Limit expressing the same thing using different words. Not everyone has to say everything.
Appropriate Attendance: Keep it small. Determine who needs to attend, and who can skip the meeting. Also, buddy up. Rather than having everyone attend, decide whether it’s reasonable for attendees to convey what occurs in the meeting to others in the department.
And finally, preparation. All stake holders should be familiar with the issues, and what needs to be resolved, before the meeting. Meetings are not for disseminating facts; they are for discussing outcomes. When you prepare ahead of time, you leave time in the meeting to do important work together.
Lisa Mark, C.P.O. is a productivity expert and Certified Professional Organizer. Contact Lisa if you would like to find out how she can formulate a plan to increase efficiency in your business.