Have you noticed that lately everyone seems to be in more meetings? Our voice messages tell others we are in meetings. Receptionists say that company employees are unavailable because they are in meetings. Some of you have just left a meeting or are on your way to another meeting while reading this blog.
Meetings can be cumbersome, expensive and time consuming. Meetings have become synergized as part of our corporate culture. Before your next meeting ask these three questions:
Question number one: What are alternatives to having a face-to-face meeting?
Sixty percent of meeting participants say their time in meetings is wasted. When you factor in attendee’s salaries, utilities and missed opportunities, meetings can cost $1,600 an hour! Phone conferences are an inexpensive way to get real time communication with multiple parties. Use an electronic posting with an intranet service. Send updates via email to ensure assignments, goals and expectations are clearly stated. If these methods are implemented, should a face-to-face meeting still be necessary, it can be more efficient.
Question number two: Has an agenda been sent to all participants?
If you are conducting the meeting, send an agenda. If you are attending a meeting, request an agenda. The agenda includes the date, time and location of the meeting. The originator of the agenda can include how much time will be spent on each area. The agenda should arrive at least 48 hours in advance. Requesting confirmation from attendees ensures everyone coming is aware of the expectations.
Question number three: What is the plan for follow-up after the meeting?
The purpose of a meeting needs to be something more than having another meeting. For each point covered during a meeting, include a segment that asks, “What’s next?” This may include confirming a deadline, getting approval, transitioning to a new phase on a project or bringing closure. People will lose focus and energy if they feel an idea or project lingers. This will have a negative impact on their preference to attend future meetings. When people see movement on a project, they will be more inclined to get and stay involved.
Use these three points to maximize the efficiency of your next meeting.
Vincent Ivan Phipps, is owner of Communication VIP Training and Coaching, He is an award winning trainer and speaker. His expertise is in the areas of: Communication, Motivation, Leadership and Customer Service. www.NoUms.com