Managing Meetings In Your Lineup

Meetings are an important part of a lot of our professions. I don''t know many people who just love meetings. Sometimes they are a necessary evil. But nothing is worse than sitting in a meeting that isn't important and thinking the whole time about the huge "To Do List" back at your desk. Meetings can be costly, reduce productivity, and lower morale. Remember this the next time you have an urge to call a meeting. If the meeting is critical here are a few things to remember:

  • K.I.S.S.-Keep It Short Sweetie! Have an agenda, cover the items quickly and then end it. Don’t be afraid to remove all the chairs and call a "stand up meeting." If people are not able to sit down, they will be less likely to drag out a meeting. No one will complain that a meeting ended early.
  • If pulling people together requires significant travel (across campus, across town, or across country) try using technology to facilitate the meeting instead of wasting the time for the commute. There are some great tools that don't cost a lot that can facilitate conducting a meeting across distances. Instant Messaging, web conferencing, conference bridges, and team sites can be used to reduce travel costs and time.
  • If you have reoccurring meetings, like a weekly staff meeting, don’t be afraid to cancel it if there aren’t a significant number of items on your agenda. Otherwise, you will find yourself "making up" things to talk about and therefore wasting time. If this occurs often, decrease the frequency of the meeting to every other week or once a month.

Managing meetings is an important strategy to managing your time. You have enough acts in your circus that need your attention without adding unnecessary meetings and travel time.