Meeting About the Upcoming Meeting

Do you have too many meetings?  Meetings that go on too long and do not accomplish anything are among common employee complaints.  Every meeting should achieve at least one forward step in a project or towards a problem solution.

To insure your meetings are productive, you need an objective.  If you are meeting to have everyone up to speed on the progress of others on a particular project, be sure each person knows they need to be prepared to present an update and in what form.  Do you want a written status report?  Verbal?  How long?  Set guidelines and expectations in advance.

Are there people who are chronically late to meetings?  If so, you may want to impose penalties (wear a funny hat) or a nominal fine.  Employees will only take meetings as seriously as you do!

If there are several people or topics to present, you may want an agenda.  You can circulate it ahead of time so no one will be caught off guard.  If there is a topic you are going to want input on, making this known in the email setting the meeting will give team members time to give the question or issue consideration.  Having time to think about an issue should get you better feedback and more creative solutions.

Do you feel everyone is not engaged?  There are a number of steps you can take to change the dynamics of your meetings.  Change the seating arrangement – you can assign seats to break up cliches or comfort groups.  Ban electronic devices if you find team members discretely checking email or even playing Words With Friends rather than participating in the meeting.

Some businesses have banned chairs and desks!  This recent article from The Wall Street Journal may give you some new ways to think about your meetings.

Meetings need a purpose, an objective, a goal.  Otherwise, you just end up meeting about meeting which costs you money in wasted time, energy and talent.


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