In the previous article, we stated that one of the biggest hindrances in business success is the poorly run meeting. Here, we identify 9 factors that can be detrimental to your meetings.
When everyone participates you arrive at better decisions, have stronger commitment, and get better results. How many meetings does it take before you can make a real decision? Do all the leaders really say what they are thinking, and are everyone’s ideas heard?
Is it possible that you are talking about too many different topics at your meetings and not going deeply enough into any one topic? When you prioritize your issues, focus on the biggest one or two, come to decisions, and establish action plans, you can have a much bigger impact on the company and get a higher return on the brainpower of the meeting participants.
It is possible you are not setting aside enough time for meetings. If you find that your organization continues to face the same problems and challenges, discuss the same issues, concerns, people, and customers month after month, it is probable you are not meeting often enough to address the issues.
You should be focusing your meetings around decisions, and the nature of the decisions to be made determines the number of meetings to schedule. Highly effective organizations have learned to schedule a good series of daily huddles and weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings that can be carefully designed to get all of the right people together at the same time. Each meeting is assigned a purpose, which is built around specific decisions that need to be made.
When you are scheduled to attend an internal meeting or conference call, are you early, just-in-time, casually late, known to reschedule often, or known for being habitually late? Do you take these meetings as seriously as you do those with customers? If you don’t, you are essentially deciding (and communicating to your team) that working on and leading the business is not critical to doing a good job.
Do you measure the success of a meeting by the fact that it started or ended on time or by the fact that you completed the meeting’s agenda? In reality, there are many times when you can complete your agenda and fulfill the time requirements yet really have accomplished nothing. I suggest that you need to develop much higher standards for measuring the success of your meetings.
How do you decide who should be in a particular meeting? Just because someone has a specific title or is part of a work group does not entitle or require that person to be in your meeting. There are a number of relevant considerations including: contribution, developmental factors, and productivity.
Each participant has a critical role to play in the meeting. The higher one’s rank in the organization and the team, the more you should be listening and asking questions of that person. Are you doing too much talking?
If the person leading the meeting is the most senior person in the meeting, they probably should not be leading the meeting. In addition, how well does the person leading the meeting control the meeting, get everyone involved, and drive effective meeting outcomes?
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