Do you have too many meetings in a typical week? It happens a lot, and you can suffer from “meeting madness” as a result. This is an affliction caused by too many meetings that aren’t focused, take too long, and accomplish a tenth of what you expect. Here are some tips to consider.
Start and end on time. The obvious breach is when people are late. That isn’t fair to those who are on time, especially if it means that you won’t complete what you expected to accomplish. As important, however, is having a firm end time. Stay true to the end time even if you haven’t completed the agenda. It will help build the discipline to end on time in the future.
Have an agenda and stick to it. Agendas keep the meeting moving and helps the facilitator to stay on point. Avoid robust agendas for a short time frame. Instead agree on the most important items that must be covered during the designated time.
Practice your wrangling skills. Sometimes you may have long-winded participants, and you need to make sure that they don’t take over the meeting. As the facilitator, politely interject, thank them for their comment, and say that you have more agenda items to cover in the allotted time.
Designate follow up accountabilities. Make sure that everyone knows their designated follow up items and the corresponding deadlines.
If you implement these suggestions, the quality of your meetings should increase and meeting madness should diminish.
One of the challenges of overcoming meeting madness is that since time feels so compressed, people feel pressured by having yet another obligation. To offset this, in addition to the points already made, keep your meetings short, stay on purpose, and don’t drag them out.
Header image by Ronald Candonga/Pixabay.