Business Meetings: Make Them Work For You, Not Against You!
Are you one of those people who sighs and says: “Oh no, another meeting. When will I have time to work?”
There is something about work-meetings, that make people either hate them or love them. Too often, it’s the former. All too many meetings lead to confusion, frustration and boredom. Take these facts for instance, from a survey company in Sweden:
- Roughly half of all internal business meetings lack a clear purpose and/or goal.
- One third of meeting participants couldn’t answer why they were summoned.
- About the same number, one third, claimed that business meetings drained them of energy.
This is a serious matter and not something we should take likely, since it affects the motivation, productivity and ultimately, the bottom line.
Let’s do a quick calculation for an organization of 100 office workers. On average, a non-manager spends about 12 hours a week in meetings (you can easily double that number for a manager). Let’s say they attend business meetings 45 weeks per year. We know that half of this time is inefficient due to the lack of purpose and goals. That’s 27000 hours annually, spent on attending or running bad meetings!
If you then want to calculate the personnel cost, just multiply the number with an hourly cost. The numbers are huge! Yet we allow this to just go on. Why? Because no one is measured on meeting efficiency. It goes under the radar.
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But there is a silver lining. With a few simple steps you, as a leader of the meeting, can easily increase the engagement of the participants, thus increasing the speed, productivity and goal fulfillment. You don’t have to ready our book Make Meetings Work (with a hundred plus tips for successful meetings.) Here, in this text, we’ll give you five quick wins:
- Nail down the purpose for having the meeting at all. First to yourself, then to the invited participants. This will give you energy and perseverance.
- Figure out the goal you have for the meeting. When the meeting is over, what should have happened then? Again, first to yourself, then to the others. This will give you a direction and a possibility to evaluate and improve.
- Invite only the people you need to have in the meeting.
- As a leader, be ready at least five minutes before the meeting starts. This way you can focus on greeting people.
- Involve more than you inform. Pure information meetings are boring and a waste of peoples time. People want to feel involved. And when they are, it’s a motivation-booster.
If you don’t want to do anything else, do at least these five things. We promise you that your business meetings will be better, your organizational goals will be reached faster – and you will all have more energy at your meetings.
Best of luck
Antoni Lacinai & Mike Darmell
Authors, Speakers, Trainers.
About the authors:
Antoni Lacinai is the communication expert, helping his clients perform better when meeting other people, or towards their goals.
Mike Darmell is the meeting evangelist, who is the most sought after speaker when it comes to organizations’ meeting culture.
More blog articles about business meetings:
- The Strategic Decision Making Process in Meetings
- Group Dynamics: Pitfalls in Meetings and How to Avoid Them
- Too Many Meetings to Deal With at Work?
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