Why business meetings are time thieves?
Nowadays the most expensive asset that people and organizations have is time. It’s a scarce resource, since it can not be generated or recovered. Therefore, we must take care of it. At business level, meetings are the most demanding activities. Normally, an employee can spend more than half of the day in work meetings. This entails a loss of important productivity for the entire organization.
Ideally, the reason for business meetings has to do with the development of the company’s own activities, from a project’s life cycle to the discussion of new ideas for it. Unfortunately, most of the time meetings lose their meaning and end up with attitudinal or even personal discussions.
Some tips to take the most of them
To establish useful and productive meetings that take care the time of all involved, here are some useful tips:
- Is the meeting necessary? – This must be the first point to check. There must be identified the reason for the meeting and the decisions that will be made. If there are no objectives, or no decisions will be made, then the meeting is not necessary.
- Who should participate? – They must be determined based on the decisions established. The assistants must be those who have a direct relationship with them.
- Organize the agenda – Establish the topics to be developed, and ideally set the times for each of them.
- Emphasize punctuality – Remember that this is about saving time, therefore, it is key to remind participants to be ready at the start of the meeting. Check and confirm schedules, especially when the meeting is virtual and the participants are in different time zones.
- A single meeting – At all costs, the meeting should be avoid the so called “micro-meetings” where the participants discuss issues among themselves without following the general agenda. Always only one participant speaks and the rest listen. Time for Q&A should be reserved for the end of the meeting.
- Assign tasks – Based on the objectives / decisions prepared in a timely manner and discussed at the meeting. There must be set the completion deadlines.
- Final report – A person must be designated to summarize which were the points discussed, which were the conclusions reached and to make the list of assignments of tasks and their deadlines.