Please see below the latest thoughts from our Superstar Communicator Susan Heaton-Wright
Research from 2019 estimated that we waste 13 days a YEAR on pointless meetings, costing the economy £45BN per annum – OUCH! Regretably there are no figures for 2020. But this does highlight the cost of poorly run meetings. So many of my clients complain they are in back to back meetings: made worse by virtual calls, where there is no natural break to walk to another meeting room, pop to the loo or kitchen for a coffee, or even drive. And because we are still largely working remotely, there has been a tendency to call a meeting ‘to check up’. The trouble is that individuals still have to complete their to do list – leading to people working longer hours than before.
For a long time I have recommended that everyone is at a meeting to share their opinions; expertise; advice. So your role is to contribute, otherwise it is an expensive meeting. But this research highlights the pointlessness of some meetings.
But we can manage our diaries better. ASK:
· what the purpose and proposed outcomes of the meeting are
· Is there an agenda (this will prompt the person organising the meeting to focus on the purpose)
· Who else is going to be at the meeting?
· Could the information be shared in another way?
· Does everyone have to be at the meeting?
· Could the meeting be a phone conversation or even whats app conversation between the group?
· Could the time of the meeting be limited to 30 or even 50 minutes by being focused?
And if you are arranging a meeting, ask yourself:
· Could this be an email instead
· Could I limit the length of the meeting by running it efficiently
· Could I share information and then ask for comments instead
· Does everyone I am asking need to be at the meeting?
· Could we have a less formal discussion on whatsapp or another app?
I am a firm believer of being proactive in managing your diary. Questioning whether you should be at a meeting and the purpose of it is valuable.
What would you add to my advice to manage being called to pointless meetings? Do send your tips and I will share them!
Until next time, keep safe and well,