Does that really need to be a meeting?

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Every organization, without exception, we’ve encountered over the years has some issue with meetings. It appears to be one of those universal challenges. Meetings are something many people seem to brace themselves for, rather than looking forward to them. What would happen if we got proactive? Instead of feeling dread when that meeting invite comes in, start asking questions. One of those questions should be, “Does that really need to be a meeting?”

Look at it another way

Think of five people you admire most in your field of work. It doesn’t matter if you’ve ever met them in person or not.

Once you have your list, think about inviting them to a meeting with you.

Would you ever put all that brainpower in one room without using it?

Why aren’t you thinking about your colleagues and co-workers in the same way?

We may not all work with leading experts in our fields, but I hope you at least respect the expertise, knowledge, and input of your colleagues. (If you don’t, that’s a different conversation.) So why do we put all that brainpower in one room without using it?

Meetings are where brains come together to do more collaboratively than they can do working alone. Somewhere along the way, we got way off track. We started using meetings to give updates. That’s a terrible waste of everyone’s time and talent.

Bottom Line?

Start asking the right questions.

What is the purpose of this meeting?

Where are we trying to get to by the end of it?

Does that really need to be a meeting? Or could it be an email?

Who needs to be in the room?

What do they need to know to be prepared for the discussion?

How much time should we allow before we either call it or schedule another meeting?

You can build from there. Go forth and be productive. Start by disrupting toxic meeting culture. Your team and colleagues will thank you.

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