Are we spending too much time at meetings at work?

I bet most of you would say yes.  What I hear from clients is that they are spending so much time meeting that they aren’t getting their work done.

And it has probably gotten worse in the virtual world because we don’t have to travel across town or down the hall and so we just roll into one meeting after another.

And this is creating a lot of stress.

Meetings have become the default way we communicate and connect at work.

What do we do to change this?

  1. Be clear about why you are having a meeting and whether the meeting is the best way to accomplish your goals. Meetings are great when you want to brainstorm, discuss sensitive issues, or announce a new policy.
  2. Ask who needs to be at the meeting. What will they bring to the conversation to move things forward? Sometimes people want to be at meetings for FOMO (fear of missing out.) But if you are communicating well internally and sharing information, this becomes less of an issue.
  3. Have a clear agenda and send it out ahead of time. And send materials that would help prepare people for the discussion in advance.
  4. Have a clear set of rules for how the meeting will be run. How long the meeting will be, who will be leading the meeting, creating an environment that facilitates participation—make sure that no one dominates the conversation and the more introverted folks have a chance to be heard.  In other words, have ground rules and make sure everyone understands them.