Rethinking Meetings Part 2

Why do we meet for 30 minutes or 60 minutes? Many scheduling software programs default to these increments and many of us like this even, familiar increments. But insisting on filling the entire time leads to wasted time or over thinking.

Another issue can be that for some they have multiple meetings in a row meaning they have no time for a break for lunch, using the bathroom and simply resting their mind.

There is no reason to start or end on the exact hour or half hour. Let the meeting end 23 minutes or 47 minutes in. Strive to end earlier. End the meeting when the work is over.

Being an active part of any meeting is important, so making sure it is truly a good use of each participant’s time is important. Keep the number of participants as small as possible. A lot of numbers of for the ideal number of participants in a brainstorming or “huddle” style meeting are thrown around but it seems between 7-15 people is ideal. The more people in the meeting, the more “charisma” the meeting leader will need to keep everyone active.

Many experts agree that agendas aren’t needed for a useful meeting, but that just having one doesn’t promise a good meeting either.

So, where does this leave us when it comes to agendas? It would seem that having a thoughtful, useful one is the best option. Make sure they help focus on the meeting on what needs accomplishing. Posing the items as questions is one way to make agendas more useful; questions are active thoughts that need solving and engage our minds in a different way than statements.