How many times do you check your watch during a meeting?
Don’t feel bad if it’s more than a few times. Meetings are considered to be a real burden in the workplace by virtually all employees.
It’s not so much the meeting itself, but the stress that comes with expecting the worst: Offtrack discussions and a lack of a set timetables to name just a few grievances.
However, constructive meetings do exist. Matthew May, author and founder of EDIT Innovation, recently wrote his keys to holding more “lean” meetings.
He first suggests asking yourself these questions about your last meeting that was held:
- “Did it add value for everyone, or was it mostly arm-waving?”
- “Was there a focus on a critical issue, or did we simply brush the surface of too many subjects?”
- “Did we start and stop precisely on time, or were we waiting?”
If those answers aren’t good ones, then it’s time to reform your idea of meetings.
Keys to the lean meeting
Hold meetings around a single decision
Do your best to get information regarding that decision beforehand with one-on-one conversations with others. For example, you don’t need a meeting to tell marketing you need certain figures. Get the figures beforehand and use that information to prepare for the decision that should be made in the meeting.
Keep it to 12 minutes
Use this as a strict time limit for all meetings. Everyone should be able to get in and know immediately why they’re there. If everyone is prepared, arriving to that decision shouldn’t take so long.
Don’t be afraid to be unsocial
As mentioned, you should be getting the information for this meeting from the key players before the meeting ever even starts. So when you’re in the actual meeting, don’t assume you need a chit-chat about irrelevant matters. It’s important to not treat the meeting as a break from work.
What tips do you use for lean meetings? Let us know in the comments below.