Cracking the Code for High-Quality Meetings
- April 20, 2023
- 3 Min Read
There are over 7 million Google and 13,000 Giphy search results for “hate meetings”. Beyond that, there are countless posts on time and money wasted in meetings. The Muse reported on study results that 35–50% of work time is in meetings and 67% of meetings are “failures”. We’ve all computed the financial cost to the company of a meeting we hated.
There has to be a better way. Let’s find out how to achieve peak meeting efficiency. But, before that, let’s understand some dynamics of a dysfunctional meeting.
Signs of a dysfunctional meeting
- Mostly talking, little listening
Just as common as not hearing from some people is a meeting with just too little listening all around.
- Hijacking agenda
Many meetings struggle with sticking to the agenda and bringing it to fruition.
- Boss holding the court
Where the meeting feels more like you are an audience for your boss to think out loud than a discussion.
The material needed for the meeting is not ready beforehand and pre-meeting questions like ‘why this meeting’ are unanswered.
Peak Meeting Function
The thing is that most people say they don’t want to have meetings. Most say “oh that meeting could have been handled with an email or Slack message”. They might be right. But that is only if you take the meeting literally. Meetings mean so much more to a company than conveying information or deciding.
Here’s how to ensure your meetings can be as effective as possible.
- Agreed schedule
Almost all meetings can be scheduled in advance. Doing so helps in avoiding unpreparedness or lack of participation.
- Predictable processes
Having systems in place that everyone is familiar with for meetings like a status update or introduction calls saves time during the meeting.
Apart from this, do not forget to…
- Start and end on time
Open-ended meetings can take up more time for less outcome.
- Schedule carefully
Schedule meetings in such a way that they have the least effect on the team’s productivity, reduce the number of meetings needed, and can have maximum output.
Talking, listening, and discussing are the ingredients for a shared understanding, and with a shared understanding the micro-decisions that everyone makes every day whether writing code, creating positioning, deploying a build, or designing an experience, become more aligned with the final goal.
The more we know about what and how people think, the more the micro choices you make day in and day out (without meetings) will likely be made in unison. Usually, high-performance teams require fewer meetings but the entire team is well-connected and aligned with each other. This connection comes from talking, listening, and doing so on repeat. This can be achieved with high-quality meetings.
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