Are you one of countless Aussie workers forced to attend endless meetings that suck up your time? Or faced with an agenda which could have just been resolved via email? Poorly planned meetings are a cause of pain for attendees and a source of lost productivity for workplaces across Australia.
Dave discusses the topic and looks at the 5 deadly meeting sins with The 25 Minute Meeting author Donna McGeorge who explains what meeting sins drive people crazy and also provides her tips on how to avoid them:
SIN 1: Poor punctuality
Punctuality, or rather lack thereof, is interpreted as a lack of respect for others’ time. This can impact your team dynamics as a whole. Most meetings these days are booked for an hour, and if we are late we are eating into everyone’s time, not just your own.
Hence, just show up on time! Period. Start meetings at the exact time scheduled, irrespective of who is in the room. Everyone will soon get the standard that is accepted.
SIN 2: Too many, too often
Too often I hear people say that their evenings (when they should be with their families) are spent catching up on actual work or emails they have missed. We need to have and hold everyone accountable to a meeting strategy, before we organise to meet. Are you meeting to share information, make a decision or come up with a solution? If you can’t tick one of these boxes then you have no reason to meet.
SIN 3: No agenda
One of the top pet peeves of people who attend meetings is that they usually don’t understand why the meeting is happening or why they are even there. Without a clear and focused agenda, we don’t know how to prepare for the meeting, which means we waste time. What outcome or result is everyone headed for in the meeting? Share an agenda 24 hours before you meet to give everyone time to show up prepared.
SIN 4: Using phones or laptops
How often have you noticed people in meetings checking their phones or laptops? Speakers in the meeting read this as a lack of interest in what they are saying, which can create all kinds of angst and issues after the meeting. Ensure meetings are unplugged: no phones, laptops or tablets allowed, yes, even for taking notes.
SIN 5: Hijackers
Do you know someone who always seems to hijack the meeting, talking about something that should probably be discussed elsewhere? There always seems to be one person with the louder voice, wasting air time, irrespective of whether it was on the agenda or not. Having a process and a structure to facilitate the discussion means that everyone can contribute and you can plan your free-flowing conversations effectively. Nominate a chair who has the right to interrupt and park non-relevant issues.