Do you ever find yourself wondering if you really need that meeting? Are you tired of having each day booked with meetings galore and no “work time”? Do you ever hear colleagues say the following statements?
In a world full of the belief that “there is not enough time in each day,” we need to be selective with how we make the most of our days. Your time is precious—my time is precious—and so is your colleague’s. So here are some thoughts to ensure that you really need to schedule that meeting.
Ask yourself why you need the meeting. If you can’t outline the reasons in your head, don’t schedule it. You need to make sure you have a clear purpose before you even type the first letter of your participants’ names.
Your time is a rare commodity – So attack each meeting this way. If you’re invited to a meeting that you feel will be useless, doesn’t specify an agenda, is taking place over lunch, has too many attendees without specific tasks remember you have the right to decline the meeting request. Just do it. Your time is just as important.
Unplug – Make this a mandatory rule for all meeting attendees. If you don’t, you risk the “squirrel” interruptions, which force unnecessary distractions for all contributors. Unless you’re the assigned “note taker” of the meeting, or leading a test review, there should be a “screens down” rule. Your clients and project budget will thank you for it.
Contribute equal time – Make sure there is not just one leader of the meeting. Unless it is specific to one source of communication, all meeting attendees should have an equal turn at asking questions, leading a portion of the meeting, or providing their status and work in need of review. The meeting leader will be in charge of keeping everyone on task.
Note taking is not just for PMs – If the Project Manager is leading the meeting, they are not in charge of the note taking. Prior to the meeting commencing, a note taker should be assigned. Any person in the meeting should be able to capture key discussion points, decisions made, and next steps. They can also help keep their eye on the time.
If you do have your meeting, keep them focused, short, and on track.