Without doubt, you have attended many meetings where you felt like homicide if they didn’t end soon. Perhaps you are gentler than me, but I know I have. These bad meetings should make us resolve to never run a meeting that deteriorates into time-wasting.
Leaders should resolve to run dynamic meetings that lead to results.
The purpose of a meeting should be to discuss matters that need attention – to decide what needs to be done, who’s going to do it and by when, and to set results-focused actions to be carried out by the next meeting. Then it should end and everybody should get to work.
The meeting should only run for as long as possible to cover the business laid out in a set agenda, distributed to all attendees days before the meeting, with an expectation that everybody attending does the necessary preparation.
Everybody should arrive on time, prepared, and be allowed to leave when matters that do not concern them are being covered. NOBODY SHOULD FEEL THAT THE MEETING WAS A WASTE OF TIME. If they do, the leader has failed to run a dynamic meeting.
As the leader, most often you will also be the meeting convenor and chair. If so, you should not allow any attendee to waffle – get to the point is the name of the game when it comes to dynamic meetings – and you should ensure that every attendee participates by giving clear information, answering questions openly, and by not trying to deflect responsibility in any way.
If a meeting does not lead to clear, measurable results, and if decisions are not made, the meeting is a waste of time. Talking issues around in circles is not decision making, it’s time wasting.
I’ve tried a few stand-up meetings recently and thoroughly recommend them. We meet, discuss, make decisions, then get to work. Having nobody seated keeps the meeting short and to the point.
Now that’s a good meeting!