We don’t need to mention it, again, but man it’s been a year. As we’re all working to adapt back to the office, we’ve been going over some things we’ve learned from the time apart. One of the biggest things, one of the most powerful for real impact in our work is communication. There’s no denying that, but, like everyone else we’ve fought the struggle against that titanic time-eater, the decision delayer, the hard work hamstring — the meeting. This time on the Helix House blog, how to tell when “this didn’t need to be a meeting.”
Gathering the whole office together in a conference room is many things: a way to disseminate information, to get everyone’s feedback yes, but also a hassle, a big use of time, and nowadays potentially dangerous! In the eagerness to get together and hash out details, there’s the danger of over meeting and underperforming.
Ask yourself the following questions, if at any point you answer No then you have saved yourself the headache of scheduling!
Now, be honest…
What is the subject of the potential meeting? Is it a hiccup in the production process? Missing a piece of info? Or do you have a question on where a team is at on their piece of a project?
Whatever it is, before you schedule a meeting make sure you understand what the meeting is about before you try and figure out what the meeting will accomplish. Having the situation thought through will not only tell you if a meeting is necessary, but it will also help speed it along.
No? Think about it some more.
Are you unable to make progress because you need other’s feedback, opinions, or other input?
No? You’re good, get to it!
Yes? Sounds like you need to talk to someone…
Not everything needs to be done in real-time. Sometimes you just need some notes and feedback from a manager or client. Figure out what kind of input you need and whether it necessitates a real-time conversation.
No? Send an email!
We have an incredible wealth of tools for connecting virtually so if you’re able to, leverage those! It’s easier to set up and schedule a quick call, chat, or video conference than it is to get a whole meeting set up – if you’re able to.
No? Nice, pencil in a call or quick Skype.
Yes? Well, it looks like you need an in-person meeting! Get to scheduling.
Alright, so you’ve figured you need to hold a meeting, it’s just the only way to get the results you’re after. Well, you owe it to yourself, your team, and whoever else has to take precious time out of their day to make the meeting the most productive, the most streamlined, the most high-octane thrill ride of their lives! Okay, maybe not all those things, but make it a good meeting. Here’s how!
Create a Clear, Focused Agenda
Trim the Guest List
Keep it As Short As Possible
If all else fails, just turn to this handy dandy webtool! Answer a couple of survey questions and you’ll know with just a few clicks, does this need to be a meeting? Remember it for the next time an overeager colleague sends out the third meeting request of the day.
With meeting bloat under control, you can get back to the stuff that delivers the most bang for your buck, at least when it comes to time!