Benchmark Business Group

Are You Frustrated By Meetings?

July 13, 2021

Am I necessary to this meeting? Another Meeting? How many times have you looked at your calendar and muttered those same words?

As stated by author David Hanson; "Meetings that do not bring momentum or progress toward the vision are toxic because they break the workday into moments."

How many of your workdays have been broken into tiny moments of time due to meetings? If you are one of the many that find yourself frantically trying to catch up and get something done between meetings – or worse, working late to get caught up, it’s time to stop and reassess.

To meet – or not to meet?

Meetings are essential business structures; they should be designed to enable people to progress more quickly towards results. If you attend meetings and wonder why you’re there, consider the following questions:

  • Do I know the purpose for this meeting?
  • In what way am I relevant to this meeting?
  • What is my role?
  • Do I know how to prepare for this meeting?
  • How do I add value in this meeting?
  • Am I better able to take action and achieve results as a result of this meeting?
  • Do we have to meet now, or could we wait until a later day/time?
  • Do we have to meet as frequently?

Be an advocate for protecting your time!

While your attendance at some meetings may be mandatory if you believe that your presence isn’t adding value – speak up! Be an advocate for your time.

Talk with the meeting leader(s) and either clarify your role so you can add value or collaborate with them to find alternative ways to participate or reduce the time it takes you to be in the meeting.

  • Schedule meetings in 5 minute increments, not 30 minutes. Meetings can be 10 minutes, 25 minutes or 35 minutes, they don’t have to be 30 or 60 minutes.
  • Scrutinize agendas to ensure you are focusing on relevant topics and set times for agenda topics.
  • Fiercely protect the Agenda and don’t let meeting topics wander off topic. Be ruthless about Agenda topic times! If you can’t get that agenda item covered in the dedicated time, decide if it needs to be a separate meeting with fewer attendees, or carry it over to the next scheduled meeting – then move to the next topic.
  • Is there another person attending that represents your department or perspective? If so, can they speak on your behalf and update you later? If not, consider if you should attend and update them later – preventing both of you from having to be there.
  • Is there another way to get updates or to collaborate or provide feedback?
  • Could you attend at the beginning of a meeting, or at a specified time to provide an update, then leave?

Protecting your time is protecting your company’s investment in you. Get clear on the value you add and be creative on alternative ways of doing it.

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