Four Simple and Proven Steps to Better Meetings

How many meetings do you have this week? How many do you actually want to attend?

Just like meetings should be, let me keep this simple.

1. No meeting should be called without an agenda and an objective, period. I don’t care if it is a five minute huddle because that five minute huddle is a distraction that can equate to up to one hour of flow time. If you are are sending a meeting notice include an agenda and an objective, what needs to happen in order for this meeting to be a success. Conversely if you receive a request for a meeting make it clear you will not attend without an agenda and understanding the objective of the meeting.

2. Avoid at all costs one hour meetings. Most meetings are scheduled for double the time required. I’ve had three hour board meetings scheduled that are done in one hour. So consider this constraint, how can we have this meeting in half the time? Don’t accept one hour meetings, suggest 15 or 30 minute meetings.

3. Have meetings without chairs and for God’s sake can you just leave your phone at your desk, really! Don’t get comfortable, instead get shit done.

4. Meetings start and finish on time. If you are not five minutes early you are five minutes late. Create a fine for late comers. The fine can be monetary or consider a monthly recognition for the person with the most late slips. Make it painful.

Challenge – go through your calendar, what recurring meetings do you have that don’t have an agenda or an objective, which of these can also be cut in half? Next time you send someone a meeting notice make it for 15 minutes and describe what success looks like.