Every so often, the subject of “meetings” comes up in conversations with my clients, and invariably, no one seems to have anything good to say about them! Why then do they continue to be such a integral part of the business workday? The answer of course is because meetings don’t HAVE to be agonizing, ineffective and a waste of time. In fact, if handled correctly, meetings can accomplish great things – elevate communication, generate new ideas, further morale, establish goals, build strong teams, and so much more! So before you call or attend a meeting, ask yourself four very important questions to determine whether or not you should:
- What is the objective or goal of this meeting? Articulate this in one sentence before you proceed.
- Why me? Why do I need to be there?
- Who else in going to be there? If all the right players are not in the room then this meeting will be a guaranteed waste of time!
- How long will the meeting last? You need to know the opportunity cost of attending — what else will you push lower on your priority list in order to be present?
The answers to these four questions will tell you whether or not this meeting will generate a positive return on the investment of your time. Guard your time fiercely; if the return isn’t positive, don’t do it!
So what are you doing to make your meetings more useful and productive? Share your ideas by clicking on the Comment link below. In previous blogs, I have offered ideas on how to make meetings more useful and productive and they’re summarized in this post about effective meetings.