Great organizations have great meetings.
7 reasons meetings are inefficient:
The main reason meetings suck is the chairperson is inept.
- They’re too long.
- They lack purpose and outcomes.
- The wrong people are in the room.
- Participants aren’t accountable for results.
- Participants engage in turf wars.
- Few participate; many observe.
- Going along is honored while constructive dissent is stifled.
Bonus: Too many meetings can suggest that people aren’t aligned or authorized to act on their own.
10 ways to run great meetings:
Chairpersons are responsible for leveraging the talent in the room and using everyone’s time effectively.
- Determine and explain the purpose of the meeting: “We are here to…”
- Prepare the agenda. Shorter is better. Ask for feedback on the agenda the day before.
- Make agenda items outcomes not topics.
- Place priority items first.
- Rush through “the small stuff” at the end not the beginning. They take too much time if you address them first.
- Invite people who actually do the work to participate.
- Interrupt people who talk too much. It’s better to speak to them privately but if they don’t get the message, interrupt. “Before we go too much further, I’d like to hear what Mary has to add.”
- Invite quiet people to speak. “Bob, do you have anything to add?” Yes, put them on the spot, if necessary.
- Allow conversations to stray but always bring them back to desired outcomes: “This conversation is useful but a bit off topic. Let’s come back to it another time. We’re determining the …”
- Time limits are valuable, but allow long discussions on important topics. New ideas and breakthroughs take time.