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Avoid Meetings At Any Cost, Or At Least Get Most Of It


2 Comments

Meetings are the biggest waste of time. Lowest ROI ever. Here is what is needed to set and run the meeting:

  • Waste time trying to find available time slot suitable for every attendee.
  • Waste time coordinating the room.
  • Waste time traveling to the meeting place.
  • Waste time for unnecessary small talk at the beginning of the meeting.
  • Waste time during the meeting to get back on track only because somebody decided to raise another unplanned topic.
  • Waste time arguing who’s to summarize the meeting.
  • Wasting time after the meeting to clarifying the summary.
  • Wasting time traveling back from the meeting.

Is not it a pure waste of time?

But there are a cases when meetings are unavoidable. This is what I do to make most of it:

  • Try to avoid it at any cost and suggest alternative communication channels. I always prefer using email. Phone calls yet another evil.
  • Start meeting exactly at the time it was scheduled. Do not wait for those who are late. Those who come on time do not have to suffer.
  • Make sure I know exactly who attends the meeting. Helps avoid attending meetings that have no impact.
  • Define clear agenda beforehand and distribute to the attendees. Helps preparing better for the meeting. Meeting becomes more focused thus productive. "This is what we are going to discuss".
  • Set clear goals/outcomes for the meeting. Helps stay on track and reduces noises. "This is what we need to get out of the meeting".
  • Summarize action items during the meeting. Saves time for summaries afterwards. Helps avoiding roundtrips for refining the summary.
  • Make sure action items identify clear outcome, responsible person, due date/time. Helps avoiding misunderstandings. "Persona A does B due to date C".
  • As the meeting ends – read aloud the summary, and after everyone agrees just send it out.
  • Finish the meeting exactly by the meeting’s scheduled end time. It should carry out the message "I appreciate my own and the attendees time".
24 December 2007

2 Comments »

  • edward said:

    There a little strange practice. The meeting is not duty!
    Meeting is a tool – use it rigth, use it correct, use it for to reach your needs, use it for to get staffs from people they work with /around you.
    Meeting is defiantly highest arena to operate an assertiveness of yours, to demonstrate your ability to influence on people, on decisions, and to get feedback. To Turn ON your telecommunication ability – two sided
    Meeting is open doors to dark room of people characters:
    Look how they wear, look how they look, look how they talk .Learn the “buddy language “, expressions. You will get better picture from what people is “builded “.You could maximize theirs performance.
    Finally enjoy making interaction with people. Think your 9-10 hours on your work day, 7 hours sleep, other is your family divided between children and wife .There is risk of “close” world .It not BED! Not!
    But as human physiology say ( and this is approved ) –Human need interaction between each and other…Course Ethic , chapter 1, sentence 1.
    There is only one rule should be applied: Timing and dozing

  • alik said:

    I got your point – and agree. There are two types of meeting. Connection and working meetings. Connection meetings are vital and must be done face to face, not via some medium like email. Connection meetings build trust. It is hard to build trust not seeing opponent’s eyes. My post was about working meetings where all parties are well known each to other. All roles and accountabilities are defined. It is a matter of setting agenda, agreeing on outcome, schedule and responsibilities.

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