Meetings may be toxic, but calendars are the superfund sites that allow that toxicity to thrive. I've yet to see a résumé -- and I hope I never do -- that lists "attends meetings well" as a skill. Yet attending meetings ends up being a key component of many jobs. And it's stupid.
We were helping our client Sandra spring clean her meeting calendar last week paying particular attention to her recurring meetings -- those time sucking (and often soul sucking) meetings that once calendared, never seem to go away.
We've all had them: marathon meetings that go on longer than Claudia Schiffer's legs. They're usually the result of bad preparation and a few people who love the sound of their own voice and talk in circles.
First, it's important to understand why to have a one-on-one meeting. If you've been referred or met someone at an event that you consider a prospect (they told you that they're interested in doing business with you or hiring you), then that's probably a good reason for you to meet with them.
We want the world to know: there are better ways of doing business -- effective ways -- that lead to stability and peace. Just look to the 2015 Oslo Business for Peace honorees. We need more like them now.
It is possible for meetings to be effective and efficient. In fact, you can actually structure and run meetings that people are excited to attend. But it takes preparation, a smooth preamble, and effective paraphrasing.
Conference calls, web meetings and screen shares. We all love them. We all use them. We also all know that at least 20 percent of all conference calls and virtual meetings are a total waste of time and money. All because the following characters below ruin them.
It may take a village to raise a child but it takes a battalion to put together a banner ad. A small army to to spit out an FSI. And a full-blown coalition to concept a simple TV spot. Not since the last congressional caucus have I seen so many people accomplishing so little.
Rather than the pay-off of praise from the finished project, people feed on the payoff from promises of what's to come. That makes executing the actual plans much less exciting--and much less likely to get done.
By taking just a few moments to refrain from cramming one more thing on your device before a meeting, you could have a much more productive meeting that adds so much more value than the things you would have done on your device.
Running effective group meetings isn't hard -- it just takes planning, practice and a healthy sense of urgency. Your reward for all this discipline will be less stress, more time for the work that matters most and a team that thinks you walk on water.
Like everyone, appearing smart during meetings is my top priority. Sometimes this can be difficult if you start daydreaming about your next vacation, your next nap, or bacon. When this happens, it's good to have some fallback tricks to fall back on.
Rethinking your meeting strategy can leave you with more time and a more tuned-in staff. Technology, choice and brevity are within reach, and are likely to succeed in making your small business meetings more personal and more effective.
In a team meeting, it's too easy for an individual employee to hide. Managers tell me all the time about that team meeting where you want to shine a bright light on Mr. Blue, the employee who has been coming in late and taking too many long breaks.