You need to have more meetings

Posted on by Nancy Slessenger This entry was posted in Leadership, Objectives, SMART Goals and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


Here’s an interesting thought – do you need to have more meetings? Usually people on my workshops complain they have too many meetings. In fact during more than 20 years of running workshops and courses on Time Management and coaching hundreds of people,

Do you want more meetings?

Do you want more meetings?

not a single one has ever said they wanted more meetings. I can just imagine their response at the thought.



Yet that was the intriguing idea being put to me during a call recently.



As you have probably guessed, it wasn’t just about having ‘more meetings’; it was more specific than that. It was about having very short, daily meetings with your team. When I say short, I mean five minutes. These are meetings with a very strict and clear agenda, with no going off piste.




What is your objective?


So often I discover that people are spending time (or should I say ‘serving time’) in meetings with fluffy, vague objectives or none at all. The meetings are to ‘discuss’, ‘review’ or ‘look at’ something. Not only are they going over old ground, but in many cases the participants are merely repeating what they have said in several previous meetings.



These are not the meetings we are talking about here. The objectives of the meetings I am describing are to ensure that everyone knows what they need to achieve that day in order for the team objectives to be achieved. These meetings are a tool you use in order to ensure that everyone knows what the priorities and what they need to do so that they work effectively with everyone else and ensure the goals are met.




It sounded familiar


As I listened to the description it started to sound familiar. It was exactly what I used to do many years ago when I ran various departments. Each time I took over a new department, the meetings always followed the same pattern. At first they would take half an hour. Then, over the weeks the time would reduce right down till they were short and succinct.



This was because, at the beginning, there were issues from the past that needed to be resolved. Once they had been dealt with, there were the current issues. Then, when they were resolved, it was much more efficient because you were focusing on getting it right in the future and making sure you didn’t get problems in the first place.



If you are not having these meetings with your team, I highly recommend that you start. Doing this well is a key leadership skill and will make a big difference. You’ll find it takes up a bit of time at first, but if you do it right I guarantee your results (and possibly your life) will improve.

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One Response to “You need to have more meetings”

  1. June 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I fully agree with your recommendation to have more such meetings.

    Since years I work in projects using the DSDM and Agile development methods, which have such meetings (SCRUMs) as daily practice. Indeed the first meetings took an hour or more, and today the SCRUM takes only 15 to 30 minutes. This daily SCRUM saves the team from many ad hoc interactions during the day.

    Since a year or so we added daily one-hour design meetings for applying the team’s collective brain power to understanding new customer requirements, inventing solutions and designs, resolving any implementation blockers, etcetera. This cadence further reduces the need for many ad hoc interactions and creates a calm, yet productive atmosphere in the team.