Meetings – they’re everywhere!
How often do we joke or pass comment about “yet another meeting…”
Have you ever wondered how many workplace meetings take place throughout the world in just one day?
Here are some interesting facts from internet research on meetings:
Over 11 million formal meetings take place each day in the US alone. Employees globally spend an average of 5.6 hours per week in meetings 69% of participants feel that these meetings are unproductive and unnecessary.
Yet meetings held for the right reasons, can, and should be, the vehicle for communication, information, motivation, creativity, clarity, agreement, action planning, productivity (to name but a few) as well as the catalyst for real change and momentum for moving forward in any particular aspect of business strategy / objectives.
What are the problems with meetings?
Whilst there are many well-intended, well-focussed and highly effective meetings, how often have we heard about the “waste of time” or the “useless” meetings?
Our research and experience of working with clients point to the following as typical (but not exhaustive list) issues associated with ineffective meetings:
– Unclear or wrong reason for holding a meeting
– No clear purpose or objectives agreed beforehand
– The right people not invited to participate
– Agenda ill-prepared and not communicated
– Physical requirements and resources not identified and prepared
– Roles and responsibilities not clarified and agreed
– Agenda not adhered to and time mismanaged
– Inactive or inappropriate participation
– Poor leadership and / or facilitation
– Meeting not recorded properly and ideas not captured
– Appropriate discussion, consensus, agreement and outcomes not achieved
POOR FOLLOW-UP AND CLOSE-OUT
– Lack of agreement on outcomes and actions
– Meeting minutes and outcomes not effectively communicated
– Proper action plan and post-meeting objectives not agreed or documented
– Lack of ownership of actions and outcomes
– Agreed actions not followed through within agreed time or requirements
Effective Meetings Tips
If we accept that the above list is a fair representation of the main issues that prevent meetings being as effective as they should be, we could “flip” these negative statements and convert them into positive opposite statements.
Here is a MindGenius map summarising the mains tips for effective meeting planning, execution and follow-up: