In offices and boardrooms all over the world you can hear the groans...another meeting?! It doesn't matter if the company is large or small; many people would agree that on a whole, most business meetings are not productive. In fact, they suck!
There's nothing more wasteful than having a meeting just because you had it scheduled, or because it’s an excuse to get together and socialize. If it's the latter, call it what it is and don't hold a meeting. Schedule a get together, lunch, or some social function after business hours.
Business meetings are not social functions. They are serious "business" functions. When you treat meetings in a lackadaisical manner, so will everyone else. You might as well serve drinks and hors d'oeuvres!
Don't just have a meeting for the sake of meeting. Some companies have a standing weekly or monthly meeting just because they think they must do it. This is often based on either some cultural aspect of group interaction or possibly even an issue of managerial control. Typically, these meetings cover issue reporting or the status of projects. Meetings of this type are a waste of time. Weekly department or managers meetings should be abolished! These types of meetings are of an age that is long gone and serve no practical purpose in todays' "always connected" business environment.
The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings. ~ Thomas Sowell
There was a time when meetings were necessary to communicate important information, or to present data that was necessary to make decisions. Those dinosaur days are over. Email, video, text, and a whole host of electronic forms of communication enable almost instantaneous communication of thoughts, ideas and information. These mediums are a much more appropriate format to communicate the status of issues. If additional information or clarity is needed on a particular topic, it can be requested using the same aforementioned mediums.
So what are meetings best used for? Meetings are excellent venues for people in companies and other types of organizations that are working together to reach common goals. In fact, managers in large organizations spend more time in meeting related activities than any other task. The meeting is a point of contact where people can gather to solve problems and create the new and improved products, processes, or ideas.
Many ideas for some of the most creative and innovative advancements have originated in meetings. Brainstorming that occurs in meetings is also important in developing and expanding initiatives, making decisions, and determining clear objectives to accomplish collective goals. The greatest benefit of a meeting is the ability to use intellectual capital to create something of concrete value.
There are tremendous advantages to meeting of this type if used properly. Unfortunately, because they are not used as they should, studies have shown that many meetings are unproductive and wasteful. That lack of productivity can change when you understand how to properly use meetings and develop well defined meeting objectives.
If your not sure if you need a meeting or not, check using these two points for direction.
If you follow these two criteria, you'll find in many instances that your incidence of meetings will decrease by 50% or more; allowing you to focus on more productive activities.
Amplify Your Results!
Dr. Richard B. Greene, DBA
Peak Performance Coach & Human Potential Expert
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