When talk isn't cheap

It seems like my schedule, and probably yours, is overrun with meetings. Everyone wants to meet. Somedays, I even have breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings which can’t be good for my diet.  So here are three types meetings you could scale back to open a little time in your day:

Habit Forming: These are meetings that have a legacy or are scheduled out of habit. We used to call them “standing meetings,” but no one ever stands.  If you’re struggling to find items to put on the agenda, just call the whole thing off or try it every other week instead.  For that matter, try standing and it will make the whole experience end faster.

Socializing: This is a shared event disguised as a meeting. It often happens when a manager has been away or the team hasn’t convened in months. People have a natural need to collaborate and connect.  Try having lunch together or planning a team lunch time walk to accomplish the need to reconnect rather than making it into a meeting. When you really just need to talk, have a conversation instead of a meeting.

Convenience: When managers want to disseminate a large amount of information to a big group and don’t want to repeat themselves, they often schedule a meeting.  Technology might be a better route than calling everyone together. Try using a company intranet to post messages or information, sending out a memo, or leaving a group voice mail instead.

A good article to read on the subject of making meetings more effective can be found here by Al Pittampalli.