- There is no specific purpose for the meeting! Meetings can be used to avoid action. Avoid this by determining the meeting's specific outcome before scheduling it. The 4 best purposes for a meeting are to:
- The meeting is not the best way to accomplish the purpose! Once you know the meeting's purpose, ask is a meeting is the best way to accomplish the purpose? Consider other methods of communication instead (email, conference calls). Meetings are best when face-to-face interaction is important (a performance review or reenergizing a group). Giving instructions or checking on progress does not require a meeting.
- There is no meeting Agenda! Every meeting needs a written Agenda, setting forth when the meeting begins and ends, every item to be discussed, who is required be there for each item, a time limit for the discussion of each item, and what action is needed for each item: what problem gets solved, what decision gets made, what plan gets developed or what question gets answered.
- There is no respect for everyone's time! Start on time. Stay on time. End on time—or, better yet, End Early. Accomplish the meeting's purpose, but in as little time as possible.
- No one is prepared for the meeting! Send out the Agenda at least 5 work days before the meeting so attendees can be adequately prepared to participate in the meeting. Attendees not adequately prepared must be held accountability.
- There are unnecessary people in the meeting! The bigger the meeting the less productive it is. Only have attendees who are necessary for making the decision, solving the problem, developing the plan or answering the question. A meeting doesn't require an audience: attendees should be there only when they are needed and they should leave when they have completed their part in the meeting.
- Attendees are not focused on the meeting's Agenda! The Meeting Leader is tasked with keeping all attendees focused on the Agenda and the meeting moving forward. This means attendees don't have handheld devices and laptops in the meeting, there are no side conversations, and there are no interrupting or disrespectful behaviors.
- One attendee monopolizes the meeting! No one should speak for more than 5 minutes on an Agenda item.
- Meeting power points are long and boring! Keep the meeting as simple as possible. Use no power points. Instead use a flip chart.
- Give us a break already! Attendees need a 20 minute break every 90 minutes -15 minutes for the bathroom and email checking—then 5 minutes to be physical.
- There is no summary of the meeting! Someone other than the Meeting Leader takes notes about what decisions were made, what problems were solved, what plans were developed, what questions were answered and what future actions will be taken, and by when and by whom. Within 72 hours after the meeting the Meeting Leader creates a 1 page Meeting Summary/Action Plan and sends it to the attendees and others who need to know what occurred at the meeting.
- There is no follow-up to the meeting! The Meeting Leader follows up to ensure every person knows their part in the Action Plan and takes the necessary action steps. The Meeting Leader then determines if another meeting is necessary.
- Enough about me! Let's have the Rules you use to create a Great Meeting.
• solve a problem
• make a decision
• develop a plan
• answer a question
Paul Glover—a "Certified Grand Master Manipulator of Time"
To read what I have to say about Management during the WorkQuake™ go to trainingeverydayleaders.com