According to FastCompany, Google’s head of marketing holds 20 meetings a day. How does she do all this and still have a sane mind and a productive workday? Simple. She stays far away from the normal definition of a business meeting.
So, forget Monday’s what’s what and Friday’s weekly recap. Compress those hours into minutes and bring a whole new meaning to the word ‘meeting.’
ONE, NONE, OR ALL?
Before you’re about to call a new meeting or prepare for a weekly one, evaluate the ‘who.’ Who actually needs to be in this meeting?
Just because it’s a department-wide meeting, doesn’t mean everyone in the department should show up. Is it crucial to their job that they be directly involved? Does it affect their current projects or daily to-dos?
Don’t waste their time and your pay simply because that’s how things are normally done.
CAN AN EMAIL OR PHONE CALL GET THE JOB DONE?
If this meeting is more of a recap or a means to delegate tasks, this might be accomplished more efficiently through an email or a quick conference call.
You might say it will take just as much time to write up an email or to have a conversation on the phone. So why not just hold a ten-minute meeting instead? Well, because a ten-minute meeting is never a ten-minute meeting. That's why!
If you do have a routine weekly meeting, consider reassessing its value. Is it really necessary? Is anything actually accomplished during this meeting? Do people even speak words during this time or does everyone just kind of sit there?
For meetings like this, a good idea is to appoint one person who is responsible for gathering important details or needs from team members throughout the week. Once they speak to all members, let that person decide whether a meeting is necessary.
Sometimes a meeting will be needed. Other times an email will suffice. And in some instances, nothing at all.
WALK AND TALK
Employees hate when you say, “Can you come to my office for a few minutes so we can have a short meeting?” For starters, it creates anxiety. And also, like previously mentioned, a few minutes is never a few minutes. So, you may want to try a slightly different approach.
The point here is to not take advantage of your staff’s time and to put you and your staff in a situation that forces you to get to the point.
Like the title suggests, you can walk and talk. Instead of a full-blown meeting, catch an employee walking down the hallway or on the way to get a coffee. And encourage your staff to do the same.
You’ll find a few minutes is more than enough time to say what it is needed, to receive approval on ideas or projects, and to catch up on last minute to-dos.