To Meet or Not to Meet? Answer these questions
We've teamed up with our friends and meetings experts (web conferencing, video, social, you name it) at Austin-based iMeet to provide a series of guest posts about, well, you guessed it: meetings! Not in the traditional sense of the word, but in the iMeet sense of the word. We look forward to posting progressive, innovative content written by these kind folks. Oh, and we'll be posting Internet marketing and SEO goodness on their blog, so take a gander when you have a chance.
To Meet or Not to Meet?
Around this time last year, our team had reached a breaking point. The insane number of meetings we had scheduled every day was getting in the way of our productivity. Since we work at an online and video meetings company, we thought we had a bit of a free pass – we were just doing research about great meetings, right? Not so, in some cases.
So we began to ask ourselves these questions to filter out the necessary meetings from the unnecessary—and our productivity exploded.
Find yourself in meetings all day? Ask yourself these questions to determine how necessary your get-together is:
- Can you accomplish your goal in a call, email or a quick conversation? We fall into this mentality that the conversations that occur in meetings somehow have more importance than ones that happen outside of a conference room. But if you can quickly settle a detail of a project or hash out a point of contention via another communication channel, you’ve accomplished the same goal while expending less time.
- What's the objective of the meeting? Every great meeting begins with a specific purpose. What’s the goal? Can it be accomplished in the set time? If you don’t have a goal, you’ll often leave that session feeling frustrated or more confused than you were before. Set a meeting agenda and stick to it. And if there's no goal and you can't find one, cancel the meeting until you can.
- Will the meeting lead to action? If action items don’t naturally come out of the meeting, you’ve probably not accomplished your meeting’s purpose. That’s why keeping your meeting minutes is so crucial. Otherwise you may be back in the same place, at the same time, talking about the same topic next week.
- Will more people muddy the water? If there are handful of stakeholders and decision makers who can get together and quickly make a decision, only invite those folks. Think twice next time you add someone to a meeting. Will they be able to add something valuable? Will they feel like they wasted their time? If you find your meetings are filled with half the office, check your invite list. Chances are, you could be saving someone else from over-meeting.