Another Meeting? How to Avoid Wasting Company's Time

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File Photo: Conference Room at Telenor office, F-11, Islamabad

There go lots of meetings in our daily and weekly business schedules; however, it often happens that meetings end up with no results or with least results. In these tough economic times, every second of the work day is valuable – however, unplanned, meetings may waste plentiful time of the workforce and ultimately the business.

Kimberly Douglas, author of the recently published book “The Firefly Effect: Build Teams That Capture Creativity and Catapult Results”, notes some important elements to calculate the anticipated requirement and results of meetings, before you hit the conference room.

Douglas offers these common meeting pitfalls and how they can be avoided or fixed:

  • What’s the point? It’s important to run through a pre-meeting checklist before putting it on everyone’s schedule, making sure the meeting is even necessary. Could the information you want to provide be just as easily presented in an e-mail? What do you want to accomplish with the meeting? Will reaching that goal really require a group decision?
  • Where’s the agenda? Having a plan in hand can ensure the quality of the meeting and make clear what needs to be done in advance. List three to six items, accompanied by how long they will take to discuss and who the discussion leaders will be.
  • Conference room overcrowding. Keep the number of required attendees as small as possible, and if critical members can’t attend, consider postponing the meeting until they can. Having a meeting without them can cause just as many delays and productivity problems as postponing the meeting a couple of days.
  • The meeting will seemingly go on forever. Eyes may start wandering to watches, BlackBerrys and wall clocks as those attending wonder when they’ll be able to get back to their long to-do lists. But if they know exactly when a meeting will be over, they won’t spend their time internally speculating about when they can leave.
  • The meeting becomes a free-for-all. Set conversational ground rules right away, like requiring everyone to participate or “speak in headlines” to avoid rambling.
  • No decisions, commitments or next steps are identified. There is no simpler way to record what went on than by writing on a flip chart the who, what and by when.

Via Cellular News