pointless meeting

If Your Meetings Are a Waste of Time, Fix Them

The number of words dedicated to self-improvement, eliminating unnecessary tasks, and amplifying one’s productivity are beyond measure. Who among us wouldn’t benefit from a bit of fine tuning? What isn’t often discussed is how to take something on the discard pile and transform it into a key factor for success.

Take the concept of eliminating or drastically reducing the number of meetings you attend. Most of us have sat through unproductive, meandering meetings that leave the organizer feeling important, the extroverts feeling heard, and the introverts wondering why they bothered to come. The short-sighted, quick fix is to eliminate as many meetings from your life as possible. The strategic, productive solution is to fix the meetings themselves.

Pointless meetings need to be eliminated and then replaced by strategic meetings that are goal-oriented, experience-based gatherings designed to do one of three things:
1. Impart critical information
2. Inspire discussion and conversation
3. Foster relationships

Strategic meetings influence what people think, say, and do. They have a specific, defined goal, a clear agenda, and precise talking points, with conversation strictly limited to the essentials. They rarely need to be more than 45 minutes per topic/session.

The only people in attendance at strategic meetings are the key stakeholders and a scribe to capture the main talking points. A list of action items and due dates are circulated within 24 hours of the meeting, and those same action items kick off subsequent meetings to track progress and dictate next steps.

When the extraneous topics and people are removed, meetings are powerful vehicles that drive business objectives, shorten sales cycles, build relationships, inspire creativity, facilitate teamwork, and remove obstacles. Who wouldn’t raise their hand to attend meetings that guarantee moving attendees closer to their goals?

So, if you are the person who calls meetings on a regular basis, take a close look at your methodology. If you are thinking about ordering food and who to invite, you’re doing it wrong. Participants likely won’t be gathered long enough to eat; the attendee list should be obvious, and your focus is the goal of the meeting and the content around achieving it.

If you’re not the person who calls meetings but rather the attendee, forward this article to the people in your office who need to make a new year’s resolution to design meetings more strategically. Not only will the office be better for it, their own productivity will be as well.

Want more tips on why strategic meetings matter and how they can accelerate your sales cycle? Check out these articles:
Strategic Steps to Successfully Achieve Your Business Goals
The Right Answers Come from Asking the Right Questions
Sick of Lousy Meetings? Christy Lamagna Has the Solution

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