Let's have a meeting!

Did anyone tell you a meeting was too short?   I don't think so! Frustrated by confused agendas, or by people who arrive late?

Victor Lipmann offers 5 simple steps to more efficient and effective meetings. When you finish, try the quiz.

1) Take extra time to prepare the agenda

If the agenda normally takes one hour to prepare, take two hours. Unclear objectives are often a problem in meetings. Define and plan every meeting carefully. Be clear. If necessary, confirm details with other participants before you start. Extra time before the meeting will save more time after.

2) Select participants carefully

Ask carefully: Do all of these people really need to attend?   Maybe a short email summary, or a quick phone call after the meeting will be sufficient.   If you can reduce the number of participants in a half-hour meeting by, say, four people who are not essential, that’s two more hours of productive time for the company.

3) Schedule the meeting for the half the time you originally planned

Meetings are endless – they increase naturally to fill the available time.   If you plan a meeting for an hour, you will probably take one hour, even if a lot of time is only friendly conversation. On the other hand, if you plan the same meeting for 30 minutes, probably you will do everything necessary, but faster.

4) Don’t start 1 second late

Too much time is lost because people are late. The simple solution? Don't wait for people. Start at the correct time. People will learn quickly.

5) Have a stand-up meeting?

This means no chairs! Research shows this can be more 33% faster than a normal meeting with the same quality of decision-making. It's not always practical, but it's an interesting idea...

A final thought. Ask: Do we really need a meeting to resolve this? Perhaps there are different options, phone calls, emails, chats, memos to everyone. Of course, meetings can be essential, but it is always good to ask this question.

Some of these suggestions need extra time for preparation, but the mathematics is correct : less time in a meeting = more productive time for the company. Good luck!

from www.forbes.com
original article  by Victor Lipmann