We've all been there. You're stuck in a never-ending meeting that could have been a quick email. Yet here you are, wasting valuable minutes, itching to get back to your desk and tackle he 50 other things on your plate for today. So why do meetings suck so much? The simple answer is most managers don't know how to run them. Here's my advice on how to make your meetings pain-free and run smoothly.
1. Could This Be an Email?
Before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself if it's truly necessary. Could this be a quick email or phone call instead? When you bring everyone into a room, inevitably it is less efficient than if they are in their own space with their resources to answer questions. Make sure a meeting is truly necessary before you schedule it.
2. Send the Agenda Early
Your meeting will be far more productive if key team members can gather the material they need ahead of time. For others, like most of us introvert, we need time to think before answering questions or solving problems. Send out a detailed agenda ahead of time with exactly what will be discussed and notes on any preparation attendees need to come prepared with.
3. Set a Timer
There's nothing that can make a meeting drag on more than a lack of urgency. Set a time limit, ideally on the agenda. This will encourage concise communication and ensure you don't end up talking in circles around the same issue. Designate a timekeeper for the meeting to make sure you stay on track. I always present this as me trying to respect everyone's time, not cut them off, and it tends to go over well!
We all know meetings can sometimes be a train wreck. But by following these three easy tips, yo can ensure those you lead run smoothly and are efficient use of time!