Improving Efficiency through Improved Meetings

In a discussion about meetings the other day, I was reminded about how I became a promoter of efficient meetings. I will never forget the client who bragged that he and several of his colleagues worked well into the night because they spent their days in meetings! And how much value came out of the meetings? I have found that conducting efficient meetings and inviting only the people who need to attend has helped in my popularity in leading people. People don’t want their time wasted.

Here is my list of efficient meeting rules: 1. Send out agenda. 2. Only invite people who need to attend (either they contribute to the meeting or they need to know the information provided in the meeting). 3. Keep the meeting as brief as possible (we have work to do! a little socializing is ok but is not the purpose of the meeting). There is the method of stand up meetings to ensure the meeting is kept short and on point. 4. A good Leader, Manager or Project Manager should be able to determine how often the meetings are needed so that information is exchanged in a timely manner but we aren’t all spending our days in meetings. 5. Stay on topic, parking lot disagreements. 6. Start and end on time. Have you heard of the management method of locking the door after start time – to encourage people to arrive on time? 7. Prepare Meeting Minutes and follow up action items. If you can’t summarize what was accomplished in the meeting and what will result (actions) from the meeting, what was the point to the meeting?

We have to collaborate and conduct meetings and should have some fun at work. But we don’t have to have inefficiency keeping us from getting the important things done . Your thoughts? Any other Meeting best practices? What other things do you think cause a lot of inefficiency in business?



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