Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why Are We Here?

Do you have weekly, monthly meetings with the same people, like your peers or staff? Have you thought recently about why you're meeting?

Too often we have staff meetings without thinking about the purpose--not just the reason for the meetings in general, like communication--but for each meeting specifically. Too often meetings are scheduled for the same block of time and the agenda, if one exists, fills the requisite portion of each person's calendar. Too often we habitually gather together and sit in our preferred arrangements, provide our routine updates, drink some coffee, and leave. Then we gripe about how our life of management is controlled by meetings. What would it look like to get control over the routinely scheduled meetings? Remember a good reason led to their creation, but they became a Frankenstein's monster now controlling our calendars. So let's ask ourselves about every meeting on our calendar:

What do you hope to accomplish in the meeting today? What was carried over from last week? What can be carried over to next week?

What are the priorities for today's meeting and does the agenda reflect this?

How long should the meeting take to reach its purpose today?
What happens if we accomplish our meeting 'tasks' within the first quarter hour? Can we quit and go back to work?
What happens if we don't? Are we willing and able to stay longer till the discussion is done and consensus is reached?

If you haven't ever checked it out, I strongly recommend Patrick Lencioni's Death By Meeting.

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