Let’s face it, meetings are “considered” an easy solution whenever a complex issue pops up. Everyone can relate to situations where the phrase “let’s book a meeting to discuss that!” sounded like the only way out of a deadlock.
Still when that meeting time arrives noone is prepared or even recalls the issue in question. People end up spending the meeting time talking in cycles never mastering to move forward. Essentially a meeting is not the much wanted solution to all problems!!
So the next time your conscious (or subconscious) wants you to spill out the words “Let’s have a meeting on this!” you can try holding that back and consider:
- Do we have all the data needed to share with my peers? If that’s the first time the topic surfaces chances are that you don’t have all the data and more prep-work is needed. This can be done either collaborative asynchronously via docs, emails and messages or as an assignment to a single person. Having these data ready during a discussion helps in moving forward by providing answers for the initial and ‘easy’ questions (examples, “Is this supported?”, “How does X deal with that?”, “What are the bare minimal resources needed?” or even “What do you propose we do?”).
- What are we getting out of that meeting? There are countless cases where peers do have all the data needed but they haven’t decided yet on what they should do with that data. Usually, this leads to a meeting with discussions ranging in various directions making it hard to focus on a single next action.
An extra tip instead of outro: If your topic is on a problem or next actions for a thing, chances are that many people already have their own opinions and that is good! You can leverage more of your meeting time if everybody shares their opinion prior to the meeting for everyone to see. This way:
- Everybody has a chance to express their own opinion, uninterrupted and be as analytical as needed
- Everybody has a chance to read and understand everyone’s opinion
- Everyone joins the meeting with a direct motive for dialogue, since all the opinions are already shared among peers there will be questions or clarifications needed.
The productive time you will secure for your meeting having already shared participants opinions is invaluable!
Happy meetings everyone!