6 February 2019
Step through the door of almost any business and you’ll discover meetings are a way of life. But ask people what they think about those meetings and you’ll soon discover competing camps.
Just look at the headlines below from respected business publications and you’ll see the range of opinions. Some think meetings are vital. Some agree, but think we’ve got to make them less awful to attend. And some think many meetings are useless and ought to be eliminated.
The fact is, there is some truth in all three positions. Meetings can indeed be vital. They can help you build and strengthen your team – especially if you have remote workers. They can help you explore a broader range of ideas and perspectives. And they can help you make faster, better-informed decisions that share support from a wider team.
But meetings are also pretty unpopular with the very people you want and need to engage. In one of countless surveys on the topic, about a third of UK office workers complained about meetings being too long and inefficient. Almost half say their mind wanders during meetings.
It’s also true that many of the meetings we schedule are useless and ought to be removed altogether. They’ve become more of a habit than an effective business tool – lacking focus and purpose.
So what’s the solution? Try this simple, two-fold strategy.
First, don’t get caught in a rut and meet just for the sake of meeting.
Take a hard look at how often you hold meetings and why you hold them. When a meeting is needed, keep it brief and on-point. Set an agenda. Offer everyone an opportunity to be involved and to have their say, but actively moderate to keep the discussion focused.
Second, adopt a cloud-based meeting and collaboration service.
These integrated suites of tools offer new ways to stay in touch and collaborate with remote team members. They let you dramatically reduce the number of face-to-face meetings you schedule. And they can make the meetings you do hold more engaging to attend. Here’s how:
6 February 2019 | David Macfarlane
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.