Do I really need to attend yet another meeting?
Hope you are keeping well. This week we look at the dreaded meetings and if you really need to attend them. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to decide.
- What is the reason for this meeting?
Is it to share information, create a catalyst for decision-making, and to allow for feedback and discussion? The meeting becomes a problem when there is no information to impart, decision to make, or feedback to give. It is up to you to figure out what the reason is.
- What will I contribute?
Think about your contribution - are you responsible for presenting to the rest of the group? Do you supply feedback to others during the meeting or do you report back to the rest of your team about what was discussed? If you cannot come up with anything that you’re contributing to a meeting other than your presence, that may be a sign that it’s time to reassess whether this is a productive meeting, or not.
- What are the other attendees contributing?
Review each meeting attendee and identify their function in the meeting. What are their reasons for attending? If you cannot determine a reason for someone to be there, that’s another sign to reassess the meeting’s productivity. Maybe the meeting is productive, just not for that attendee? On the other hand, if you are unable to identify the purpose for most of the group, this may be a meeting to discontinue.
- Are there other ways of accomplishing the goal?
Does the meeting have to be 60 minutes? Could it be 30 minutes or a semi-regular meeting occurring once or twice a month?Maybe it made sense for your entire team to attend this meeting a year ago, but now the team has grown and there’s no reason to have everyone there. If this is the case, you could easily designate someone to be the team representative, with responsibilities including attending the meeting, taking notes, and reporting back to the rest of the team.
- What is the actual opportunity cost of this meeting?
Think about what is not getting done because you are attending this meeting. Do not forget to include the preparation time as well as the time you spend in the meeting. But before you decide to scrap all meetings, check with your team as they will see things from their perspective. What may seem to be an unproductive meeting may be extremely useful to them. Continue to ask these five questions, not just about existing meetings but whenever a new meeting is proposed.
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Have a great day!
Date Posted: 23 May 2022