The age-old questions—what is the best way to run a meeting? What is the optimal meeting length? How many people need to be in a meeting? And finally, how can I cut down on the meetings I do have to get back some of that precious “me time,” whether that means working on a special project that’s been sitting aside or fully unplugging when I get home?
Here are some ways GE Aviation employees are making their meetings work harder:
Say it in a sentence: In a few short words, can you articulate the goal of holding the meeting? If the answer is “no,” then it is likely you aren’t holding an effective meeting. Challenge yourself to really nail down the meeting’s purpose and agenda.
Invest in a Bluetooth Speaker: Sometimes a meeting can fail before it ever gets off the ground for seemingly simple issues, like an overbooked conference room. Don’t let that mess with your meeting—instead, make your meeting mobile by buying a Bluetooth speaker that can integrate with your (or any) phone.
Change up the rhythm: Meeting frequency can set the pace for progress on a team. For instance, consider cutting a weekly 30-minute meeting and replacing it with daily 5-minute meetings, so you and your team are checking in, removing roadblocks and making progress on a daily basis, not a weekly one.
Follow the “buffer zone” rule: Tired of running late from one meeting to the next? By scheduling meetings to end 10 minutes before the hour, everyone will be more prepared to move quickly to what is next on their agenda. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you learn that you can accomplish just as much in 50 minutes as you could in 60 minutes, and your attendees will thank you!
Pick up the phone: Rather than scheduling a meeting on a topic, try calling one person who you consider to be a decision-maker or expert first. Maybe the solution is simpler than you thought! A meeting cancelled is a meeting well run.
Make it easy on yourself: Have a dial-in number you like to use? A favorite conference room? Taking 15 minutes to catalogue your personal meeting toolkit could be as easy as copy-pasting your information into an outlook invite and saving it to your desktop. Oh, and don’t forget to put your dial-in in the location field to make it easy for participants to join.
Do you have something to say? If your instincts are telling you that you aren’t bringing anything to the table in an upcoming meeting, don’t go. It’s worth a check with the meeting organizer or you team to make sure you really need to be there. Meetings with smaller attendance are meetings where more decisions are made.
How are you holding more effective meetings? Submit your tactics in the comment box below!
Simple enough…Send out the Agenda. Even better, make it a consent agenda where it is expected that others have already read the material and can provide focused feedback or information to facilitate decision making.
I am the Simplification Leader for MSO and loved this article, as reduction of meetings is a significant initiative on our 2016 simplification plan. I would love to hear more, and also learn what other areas of the business are doing to address this! Thanks!
Great tip, for a great company