The Dreaded Weekly Meeting
Have you ever attended a meeting and wondered why?
Worse, have you ever attended a regular weekly meeting and wondered why every week?
When I was a young manager, I used to attend a ‘Section Heads’ meeting every Monday. They were time consuming (they’d take the entire morning). They were boring. And they were expensive. (Imagine how much a three hour meeting involving up to 12 managers actually costs in salaries alone – and then add a bit on for all the overtime used 'catching up'.)
Most importantly, they were ineffective. One of the reasons they were ineffective is that a lot of time was spent on a ‘weekly update’ from each attendee. Everyone seemed to find lots to say that showed their colleagues just how much busier they'd been than the previous speaker. In effect, it was a competition to see who could find the most to say! Not exactly conducive to an efficient use of time.
Other reasons they were ineffective included late arrivals, a lack of clear goals and no finish time - they just seemed to go on and on until we ran out of words.
On a positive note, these meetings, which I endured every Monday for several years, did provide the inspiration for our training video, ‘The Ineffective Meeting’. So, every cloud…
Since we launched Trainers' Library in 2003, my colleagues and I have have written lots of training activities that will help ensure you don't suffer the way I did as a young manager.
But if I had to condense all that training into just six golden rules, I think this would be them:
- Have an agenda and clear goal.
- Only involve those necessary for you to achieve that goal.
- Start on time.
- Have a facilitator/chair who can keep the meeting on track.
- Agree what’s been agreed and what is going to be done next, and by whom.
- Finish on time.
It sounds simple doesn't it? It is. But how often have you attended meetings that don't come close to following these six simple rules?
p.s., I love feedback, of all kinds, so please do leave a comment below.
Co-founder and Commercial Director at Glasstap® (www.glasstap.com), the company behind Trainers' Library® (www.trainerslibrary.com) a service relied on by trainers in more than 40 countries, I retain overall responsiblity for the...