Manage your Meetings

Have you ever left an hour meeting and felt like you had just wasted 60 minutes of your day? Meetings can be a BIG time waster if they are not planned and executed effectively. Consider some key elements for effective meetings:

  • Have an agenda and stick to it. Make sure the agenda items are pertinent to the participants

  • If you look at an agenda and the items don't relate to you, don't be afraid to ask to be excused

  • Cancel ineffective or unnecessary meetings - especially reoccurring meetings

  • Be selective with whom you invite to your meetings. Most people won't be upset if they are not invited. They have plenty to do without another meeting

  • Have someone keep minutes of your meetings so you are not having the same meeting, where you are having the same discussions and making the same decisions.

  • Don't be afraid to end a meeting early. If the agenda has been covered, adjourn.

  • If your meeting is about to go over the time allotted, stop and plan another meeting to allow people to stick to their individual schedules.

  • If your meetings seem to go too long because participants are long winded, have a "stand up" meeting where there are no chairs for people to sit down. You will be amazed at how quickly people will get down to business if they don't have a place to sit

  • Make sure that if you are meeting to make a decision, that you actually make a clear decision before the end of the meeting

  • Talk with those that you work with on how to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your meetings. How can you improve?

It is estimated that most managers spend 50% of their time in meetings. If half of those meetings are ineffective, the cost to the manager AND the organization is quite significant.