When you bring a group of people together the results can be amazing. So why is the feedback we get on meetings universally negative?
Meetings can be amazing but people hate meetings, that’s certainly the feedback we get from the countless companies we’ve worked with over the years. The idea of constant meetings fills most people with dread because they know what will happen. The meeting will amble, no clear conclusions will be drawn, Dave from finance will go off on a tangent!
We’ve lost the ability to have good productive meetings because we simply have too many. Technology has transformed business but in some areas, meetings, it’s actually made it too easy to have them. Like any drug we’ve embraced this full steam and in some cases employees are spending nearly 50% of their working week in meetings. That’s not healthy and it’s certainly not productive.
Why are meetings bad
Some of the common complaints about meetings:
- They happen too often
- The conversation gets dominated by a few individuals
- They lack purpose and goals
- Outcomes and next steps aren’t well defined
- An environment where real ideas can flourish is absent
This is just a snapshot there are a lot more reasons why meetings fail. But, happily there are some really simple things we can do to fix it.
OBVIOUS Amazemeet plug!!
The meeting canvas is somewhat of a foolproof way to get to better meetings but the lessons can be adopted regardless. The crux of good meetings is organisation; the right attendees, clear outcomes and objectives, time allotted to discuss specific problems and a meeting facilitator to stick to the plan.
That maybe sounds like a lot for your next meeting so introduce things a step at a time. A really simple, but effective, first step is to say no to meetings. If it’s unclear why or how you will add value to a meeting just don’t go. It’s pretty easy to tell the organiser that you won’t add value as the meeting isn’t relevant to you. It’s a pretty empowering step to take but it might actually encourage others to do the same and then hopefully you’ll cut down on meetings and start having the ones you need.
Whatever the situation know this. Meetings can be amazing, recognising it’s a problem in your corporate culture is the first step to fixing it and taking back control of your working time and having the meetings you need.