How effective are your meetings?

Most of us spend a lot of time in various meetings. If we add up the time and cost of having every participant in every meeting, it is substantial.

With the ever increasing complexity of business, projects, roles and individual expertise in our organizations, meetings have become the preferred way to drive collaboration and projects. But meetings often have a tendency to focus more on communication and information sharing than melding individual expertise, working as a team and making good decisions.

Information sharing is better done in other ways, and not at meetings. Spending time making sure everyone is up to date on all relevant information during a meeting is a waste of time and money. This is better done in preparation to or following up after a meeting and can be done more effectively via email or in other ways.

So are your meetings valuable and effective?

If you can answer yes to most of these questions, you probably have a good meeting culture:

  • There is a clear reason and purpose for each person attending the meeting
  • Minimal time is used for recap of previous meetings and what was decided at that time
  • All attendees actively participate in discussion and making decisions
  • Meetings are lively and people are not afraid to challenge process owners
  • Important decisions are being made
  • Meetings are not focused on reporting on items without discussion, or checking off a list of agenda items
  • There is open and direct discussion on issues and decisions
  • Consensus may not always be reached, but everyone commits when decisions are final
  • Participants hold each other accountable, allowing the senior leader to engage in the discussion
  • Meetings end with a clear call to action or summary of action items, responsibilities and timelines
  • After the meeting, leaders inform their teams of decisions and the way forward.

What else would you add to this list?

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