14 February, the day of love. Can you not wait to see what your (secret) love has in store for you? Or do you hate the commercial cloud hanging above the day and therefore consciously shun all romantic thoughts? Valentine's Day: you love it or you hate it. Generally speaking, the same cannot be said for meetings. At least, I cannot recall anyone who actually loves meetings. Do you? And sometimes we simply enjoy the chance to have a moan. We love to hate! Don't we? But... How can we find a way to start loving meetings again?
Everlasting meetings which never seem to come to an end. A formal exercise on the agenda which you obediently attend each week, though by now you spend most of the time staring out of the window, bored. The same point on the agenda again. The same chaos because people cannot find the right documents. The same colleague who keeps going on and on. The same lack of workable points of action.
Meetings: Love or Hate?
It's a great pity. While meetings are often a chore, you cannot just skip them. And although they sometimes feel like a waste of time, you really do receive necessary information. Organisations simply cannot operate without the decision-making process contained in meetings. So resign yourself to the fact that meetings are a must. However, the good news is that you can improve them. Have you ever considered implementing the following changes? They will completely overhaul your attitude towards meetings!
Change 1: Not because we have to, but because we can
In my country we hold a lot of meetings, spending an average of six hours a week in the conference room. That's pretty long. Do you attend the same standard meetings each week? Even if you really have nothing to say? And the points on the agenda do not even apply to your work? Why not suggest taking a critical look at the invitation list per meeting? That will save time for the people who do not need to attend, but also for the meeting participants. After all, the smaller the group, the more efficient the decision-making process.
Change 2: Cut!
Colleagues who keep going on and on about the same point on the agenda? Who keep repeating themselves? Who introduce even more details which are quite simply insignificant? CUT! Decide beforehand on the length of time to be spent on each point on the agenda. And clearly agree that the chairperson will strictly adhere to this. You'll be amazed how effective it is, once people realise that this time limit will actually be imposed!
Change 3: Pump up the speed
How to meet more efficiently and therefore more quickly? Digital meetings. Everyone has digital insight of all notes, points of action, arguments, comments and appendices, for each point on the agenda. How orderly is that? No more excuses from people claiming not to have received the right documents. Or not being able to find them. It saves so much time! Points of action and decisions are added to the agenda during the meeting, so that everyone can get to work directly upon finishing. Next!
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