Your day starts with great intentions. You know you have a morning meeting, but that’s ok, because you can get to email for an hour, and then on to closing that deal, or resolving that acre long ‘to-do’ list that’s been lurking on your desk like a malevolent gnome. Full of enthusiasm you bound into the office, coffee in hand, and embrace your one quick meeting.
Two hours later, your one quick meeting has gobbled your entire morning that was meant to include time for email, and is now voraciously ingesting all your allocated “to-do” list time, not to mention zapping your will to live as Margie from accounts bangs on and on about the abuse of the visitors biscuits by staff. So how do you ensure that you don’t sucked into a vortex of time wastage?
The Avo team has been teaching people how to make their meetings more relevant, effective and just plain useful, for years. Having recently developed a great short format training (90 minutes each and going by the name of Avo Bytes), Avocado Vision has condensed this training into an Avo Byte called Speed Date Your Meetings that addresses just how you can make your meetings more meaningful.
Without giving too much away (the Avo Byte is really worth the investment of your time), we have included some pointers for making sure your meetings are meaningful.
- Try to only accept meetings with a clear agenda. This will prevent meandering focus and a lot of unnecessary conversation. If it’s your meeting, make sure that you circulate an agenda a few days in advance, so that people can prepare. Expect preparation. Be prepared yourself. It sets a ‘performance’ tone.
- Cut the small talk. It’s really great that you all get on so well, and that you care about Margie’s cats, but your meeting is really not the time to be catching up. If you eliminate the small talk up front, you can save time at both the start and end, of your meeting. Which brings us to possibly the most important point;
- Start on time. It’s impossibly rude to keep people waiting, especially if it’s your meeting. It sends a clear message that you think your time is more important than theirs. Also, don’t wait for someone who doesn’t have the respect to pitch up on time to their meeting.
- Learn how to keep everyone on point, and reduce repetition.
- Always close your meetings with clear, attainable actions. Allocate them an owner as well as a date for completion.
Business today will always include meetings, but learning how to make them work for you, instead of fighting them, will make your life exponentially easier.