Most people dread going to meetings. I think this is the case because there is too much wasted time in meetings. So, I will get to the point.
Here are three changes I recently implemented to meetings:
1. I am cutting the length of every meeting I lead in half.
Here are the reasons why I doing this:
It forces me to have an agenda It forces me to stick to the agenda It should keep me to discussing one topic or initiative It is a free way to boost morale (seriously) It is a cost savings to the organization (add the salaries up of the people in the meeting, and calculate how much you are spending for them to be sitting there)It communicates my values to the organization
2. Create Thinking Time
This is going to sound counter-intuitive, but one value of meetings is to bring an issue to light and ask the group to think about it. Real thinking takes time. Therefore, I am not talking about creating thinking time IN the meeting, but rather, asking the group to think about it OUTSIDE the meeting. Then, as the leader, I will setup a follow-up meeting and have more discussion on whatever the subject matter is.
3. Decide what you want the implicit outcome(s) to be.
As a leader, you are always modeling behavior. Therefore, what are the implicit outcomes of the meetings you hold? The changes above aim to have two. First, by cutting meetings in half, I aim for the organization to think about EFFICIENCY. How can we run the organization more efficiently, meetings included? Second, by creating – and practicing – “thinking time,” the aim for the organization is to practice sound decision making, rather than practicing snap decisions. Let’s be honest, we live in a reactionary culture. So one way to counter balance that is to create space for our teammates slow down, think, and make more deliberate decisions.
How can you change your meetings?
What are you communicating to your team by the way your meetings run?
The above won’t “fix” meetings, but I will continue to work to make meetings better.