Did you miss me? I took last week off and didn’t publish my newsletter. I was on Spring Break and I really needed a BREAK!
I enjoyed my time off but I did miss communicating with you. There were many topics to write about and my mind was buzzing with lots of different ideas.
One that keeps coming up in my coaching sessions is meetings, meetings, and more meetings! Is this an issue for you?
This is what I hear:
“People come in late and we never end on time.”
“There doesn’t seem to be a plan or agenda.”
“We leave the meeting with no action items or decisions being made.”
“There is no follow-up or accountability.”
All I can think of is the time, energy, and money wasted on these meetings.
So, let’s eliminate the frustration and get you back some of that valuable time lost, shall we?
I have 5 golden nuggets of how to make meetings more effective, productive, and enjoyable.
- Must Have Solid Ground – establish ground rules for all of your meetings. These include starting and ending on time, avoiding use of electronic devices for anything other than taking notes, fully listening to others without interrupting or judging, etc. Everyone agrees and has input on the ground rules. You can re-use the same ground rules over and over again. Just periodically review and update as needed.
- Bring Your P.A.L. – I consulted with a large organization years ago who used a P.A.L. for every meeting. If you didn’t have a P.A.L., you couldn’t call a meeting. It worked so beautifully for them, I have recommended it to many clients. P is for Purpose. A clear agenda and plan for the meeting was required. A is for Attendees. Carefully think through who really needs to be there. Remind yourself that their time is valuable and costs the organization money. L is for Length. Consider the agenda items and schedule the meeting for only the time needed. The more time you schedule, the more time the meeting will take.
- Let’s Stand – If there isn’t much content to cover and a decision needs to be made, consider having a standing meeting. There are studies showing that when people stand for a meeting, it took about one-third less time to make decisions than when they were seated… with no loss in the quality of decisions. Now stand-up meetings aren’t always practical, but they’re worth considering.
- Take Action – If you are bringing people together to discuss something, there is action to be taken. Period. You may or may not have those action items at the beginning of the meeting but by the end, you will. Make sure each item is assigned to a person with a deadline.
- Accountability is Key – I have had clients hire me just to hold them accountable. The reason? When we know someone else is going to follow-up with us, we are 75% more likely to get the task done. It’s that simple. So to increase the productivity and to achieve the intended outcomes of a meeting, just hold people accountable.
What strategies have you used to make meetings more effective and productive? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.