Just the mere mention of a meeting makes me cringe. Crazy thoughts run through my mind. And probably yours.
Meetings tend to be long-winded, only mildly on-topic, and rarely need you in the meeting the whole time. Yet here you sit.
That’s why it’s time for us to rethink whether or not it’s the right call to hold an in-person meeting.
Meetings Are Good
They really are. They have a purpose.
Finding that purpose is the challenge.
Meetings are great when you need face-time with someone.
Meetings are great when you need to quickly hash out the details of a big project
Meetings are great when you’ve got all the information handy
But meetings often fail to meet these tests. They begin to delve into random topics and people don’t get a resolute answer.
Rather, people are left feeling more clueless than they did before entering the meeting. Though there are very few who will tell the meeting organizer this.
Rethink The Meeting
Meetings can become a monster.
Meetings devour the time of those involved. Meetings create an antagonistic atmosphere. Meetings can intimidate those involved
That’s why we need to rethink the meeting. Maybe even asking ourselves if we even need to convene together.
Here’s what I want you to think about when you think of calling your next gathering:
Can the message of the meeting be sent in an email? Most of the time there’s a purpose for a meeting. Someone wants to share information.
If that’s the case for your meeting, does the information need to be discussed? Is there a reason everyone has to be together in the same room?
No? Then cancel the meeting and send out the needed information in an email.
Can the meeting be done over a phone call? While we like to meet face-to-face, it’s not always practical.
To meet in person takes a lot of effort. People have to make sure they’re going to be able to get to the meeting place. You have to account for travel time. Etc..
It can be a mess to get a meeting happening in person.
Could the discussion be done over the phone?
Yes? Then pick up the phone and have the discussion.
Does the meeting have a point? You’ve probably never done this but you’ve probably been a part of it, right?
Someone calls a meeting. Then there’s no point to the meeting. It was just a gathering of bodies.
Don’t be that guy that does this. If the meeting doesn’t have a central point, don’t do it.
Is there a time limit? All meetings should have a time limit. Ideally, meetings shouldn’t run longer than 30-minutes.
This shows respect for the time of others. It also allows you to get down to business and work on what really matters.
Be mindful that other meeting attendees have work that needs to be done. Make the meeting simple and quick.