Whether they come in the form of a conference call, a face-to-face, or a seminar, meetings are an undeniably important part of conducting business throughout your day. Though they offer a platform for management and staff to coordinate and be more productive, they also create an opportunity for wasting time.
I was recently talking with someone at a sizable Midwestern company, about time management and conducting meetings within her organization. After showing me what her daily schedule looks like, with an average of 14 conference calls and face-to-face meetings every day, I couldn’t help but ask her “What actually gets accomplished after these meetings?” Her response: “We usually schedule the next meeting.”
It’s sheer insanity to dedicate the majority of your office time to talking about the work you should be getting done! There is a fine line between productive conversation and wasting time; and remember time is money.
To me every conference call, meeting, and event should be held to a pre-established timeline that includes:
- A clearly defined agenda that everyone knows about in advance
- Constructive roles assigned to each participating person:
- A governed hard stop, meaning having someone time the meeting, and when the time is up, you’re done.
Meetings are meant to create something that is effective, that everyone knows when they leave what the result was, who’s following up on what, and what the deliverables need to be by the next meeting. It’s up to you, Mr. or Ms. Owner, to conduct a meeting that focuses on improving profitability; any other reason may be a waste of your time and money.