Not another pointless meeting!
I know of many teams where, as soon something needs discussing, or information needs sharing, the default position is to hold a meeting. Others are holding meetings because they are an established routine, even when many of the attendees are frustrated that the meetings are not adding any value or members are unclear about the purpose of the meetings. Is that you?
At their worst, to paraphrase Dave Barry,
“Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other large organizations habitually engage in only to avoid making a decision or taking action”
Okay that isn’t the real quote but I want to keep it clean.
At their best, meetings are purposeful, powerful and productive forums for collaborative and decisive action.
A good reason to review your attendance
If you’ve ever sat in a pointless meeting trying to work out how much money was being wasted by having highly paid managers sitting (probably texting or dealing with emails) around a conference table, let me help you out. 8 Senior managers even on a modest annual salary of £80,000 attending a meeting that takes 3 hours including travel time, costs around £1,055 in salary costs alone, never mind all the work the managers are not doing whilst in the meeting. Does that help focus the mind?
That’s why you must ensure the meetings you do attend are the best possible use of your valuable time. Here are some questions to ask yourself before going along to the next meeting on autopilot:
- What is the purpose of the meeting?
- Why am I attending this meeting?
- What outcome am I looking for from this meeting?
- What can I contribute to the meeting?
- How will it help me achieve the key purposes of my role?
- How much time will the meeting take? Has a time limit been set?
- How else can I achieve my aim? Is there a more effective way?
- What work am I not doing, whilst attending? Can I justify that?
- Is there someone more appropriate to attend the meeting?
- Am I needed for the whole meeting?
- What’s the agenda? How can I make sure I get the agenda in good time?
- What will I do after the meeting to ensure the time was well spent?
How many meetings will you attend this week? How many hours will you spend in them or travelling to and from those meetings and how will you measure if it was valuable use of your precious time? I look forward to your comments.