Originally posted on Peoplefluent February 3, 2014.
How to Run an Effective Meeting: 4 Ways to Avoid Pointless Meetings
I recently had a discussion with a work colleague who was trying to schedule a phone call with me and was trying to figure out how to wedge our conversation in between two meetings he had, EVERY MORNING. His frustration rang in my ears as I reviewed this infographic on the top time wasters at work.
One of the three main black holes for time during work hours are excessive meetings. This came as a surprise to me (I work from home and our once per week meeting includes wine and cheese). After all, meetings are where teams can brainstorm, come together and cut through communication barriers. But according to the National Statistics Council, 37% of employee time is spent in meetings. Does that seem a little excessive to anyone else?
One half of the time that employees spend in meetings is considered a waste. Meeting goers reported day-dreaming, complaining and even sleeping. With so many time wasters and interruptions in the office, don’t be a time wasting culprit by continuing to hold irrelevant, pointless meetings. We all know that time is money, and these unnecessary meetings have a reported cost of $37 billion annually in the U.S. That’s a pretty substantial cost.
Verizon Wireless conducted a study on meeting trends in which they outline ways to improve the effectiveness of meetings.
Set clear objectives.
Meetings can take some pretty sharp turns very quickly. Keeping everyone on task is a lot easier when objectives are made clear to everyone involved.
Even a prepped beforehand agenda helps people avoid tangents, unrelated issues and discussions that are better conducted behind closed doors. The study found that meeting prep work has a direct correlation to the productivity of a meeting.
• Those who spent an average of 26 minutes preparing for a meeting, held meetings at which productivity was reported as “low”.
• Those who spent an average of 53.5 minutes preparing for a meeting, held meetings at which productivity was reported as “high”.
At the very least, come with a series of takeaways, achievements and needs so that you can never again waste your morning in series of meetings that achieve nothing. Remember, even if you are not the person setting the meeting you can encourage the organizer to send you (and other interested parties) a list of objectives. Read more..