Your Company Sucks at Meetings: Use These 7 Tips to Get Better.
It’s not too late to make them brief, valuable and relevant to your productivity.
5 min read
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If you don’t own a mug that says, “I survived another meeting that should have been an email,” someone else at your company does — and for good reason.
Modern companies hold too many meetings. The more time your teams spend in conference rooms, the less time they spend selling, marketing, creating or producing. Good meetings are a necessary evil, but take away the necessity, and they become plain evil.
Quit wasting time and hold better, more meaningful meetings by following these tips:
1. Automate the schedule and agenda.
Instead of playing email tag, use workflow-automation tools to find a time that works best for everyone. With the right tools, you don’t have to worry about whether important players will attend or how many times you’ll need to reschedule. Plug everyone’s name into the software, and the computer will tell you exactly when to get together.
Workflow-automation tools can even help you create better meeting agendas. When attendees know what to bring and what to say, you can slash meeting time in half, letting everyone get back to work.
2. Limit the guest list.
Anyone who doesn’t play an active role in the decision-making process doesn’t need to attend your meeting. That includes superiors who want to stay informed and frontline team members who will carry out the decisions. Keep the guest list as short as possible, then update people who need to know the details in a post-meeting email.
By limiting attendance, you can cut an hour-long meeting down to 30 minutes. Then, if you need to talk to your team about how to execute the ideas, you can communicate the essential information without wasting everyone’s time describing how you arrived at the final strategy.
3. Ban presentation tools.
People forget PowerPoint slides the moment they see them. Ditch the presentation tools, and limit your communications to the most relevant information. If people need to know the statistics, hand out copies of the data and cover only the most important parts.
At Amazon, Jeff Bezos begins meetings with 30 minutes of silent reading. That may sound unpleasant, but people absorb information better when they don’t have to pretend to memorize bullet points. To keep your meetings shorter, keep your information-dissemination techniques simple.
4. Stay strictly on time.