You have just spent all day in that meeting. The one that, at best, kept you from doing actual work and at worst kept you away from family, friends and anything else you would rather be doing with your time - the gym, a side business, the pub. You are getting paid to sit there in that meeting, the one with no outputs - or worse, actions that are so benign as to be utterly meaningless. The organisation is spending a huge amount on this hidden cost.
What should you do when you are in a meeting like this?
1. Move towards the contrary to find balance. Recurring meetings have two schools of thought - either never miss a recurring meeting or never have a recurring meeting and just hold them when necessary. For me, it depends what the meeting is for. If a meeting is required, ask, "is this a meeting we want to be in every day or every week?" If not, it is probably not a very good use of time. In contrast, if you already have a regular meeting, ask, how could we reduce or eliminate this meeting - what tools, people or processes could we use to not have this meeting or to halve the time? Continuously thinking of the opposite is what moves towards the best solution.
2. Review the inputs before the next meeting. Ask the organiser one on one, "so how will this change things if we did all of these?" Better inputs to think of: what can we do today, and every subsequent day, that will move us closer to our goal. Why do we need a meeting to do these? If we need a meeting, what needs to be true to do it in half the time? And half the time again?
3. Help the organiser be more action-oriented. Is everyone clear on when the meeting will finish? Bad meetings do not even finish on time. Great meetings finish when the objective is met ahead of time. Is everyone clear on the output we are trying to get? Is everyone clear on the actions we are trying to drive?
No one comes to work trying to do a bad job. No one is trying to trap you in meetings that go nowhere. Using a tool like MeeTime can help if you or someone you know is struggling.
If you read this far, thank you very much.
As a Valentines special, so you can get back to your loved ones today, we have five promo codes to give away to the first five people to do the following: simply visit the website (www.meetimeapps.com), go to the support page (top right) and send an email or fill in the form asking for a promo code and including your job title, where you work, how the app might help you and also mention where you consumed this article.
First come first served - good luck.