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Determining whether a meeting is necessary

From: Leading Productive Meetings

Video: Determining whether a meeting is necessary

I once coached a client to help her with her time management. In the course of our training we analyzed her calendar and realized that meetings were sucking dry nearly all of her available time. She was so busy in multiple meetings every day that she had almost no time available to perform any real work. While I would hope that this situation is unusual, it's becoming more and more common for people in business today. When someone feels that they need to discuss something, their first thought is often, "Let's hold a meeting.

Determining whether a meeting is necessary

I once coached a client to help her with her time management. In the course of our training we analyzed her calendar and realized that meetings were sucking dry nearly all of her available time. She was so busy in multiple meetings every day that she had almost no time available to perform any real work. While I would hope that this situation is unusual, it's becoming more and more common for people in business today. When someone feels that they need to discuss something, their first thought is often, "Let's hold a meeting.

Let's get everyone together." I would propose a different approach. When you feel the need to invite other people to participate with you in a meeting, first ask the question, can we take care of this without having a meeting? Or even better, how can we take care of this without having a meeting? I'm going to give you a few questions you can ask that may help you discover whether or not the meeting is necessary. The first question to ask is, do we have all the information that we need for a meeting? Take a moment to consider whether or not everything you need will be there.

If not, schedule a reminder for yourself to revisit the idea of having a meeting once the necessary information is available. The second question to ask is, do we need to discuss and collaborate or are we just going to delegate and calendar? What we're trying to avoid is a situation where 10 people are sitting in the room while a leader delegates tasks one by one to each of the people in the room. These items can usually be handled through one-to-one conversations or even through email.

The third question is, is it critical that we're all on the same page? If the answer is no then this may be better handled with one leader holding many individual conversations. This allows everyone else to continue working effectively and not have to wait during the meeting. And the fourth and final question is, is this meeting one of our most valuable activities? Most valuable activities are the activities that you perform that bring the greatest impact to the bottom line of the business.

If a handful of people could handle the issues of the meeting while others are out working on activities that bring the most value to the company then find a way to excuse them. They could always be caught up on the meeting through summary notes or an email later. There is no hard-and-fast rule about when you should or should not meet. However, by asking these four questions you'll avoid many of the unnecessary meetings that take place.

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This video is part of

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Leading Productive Meetings

35 video lessons · 20037 viewers

Dave Crenshaw
Author

 
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  1. 1m 32s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      29s
  2. 11m 33s
    1. Understanding the principles of successful meetings
      3m 56s
    2. Using technology
      2m 12s
    3. Meeting virtually (audio and video conferencing)
      2m 55s
    4. Understanding the importance of time management
      30s
    5. Deciding between group and one-to-one meetings
      2m 0s
  3. 22m 21s
    1. Determining whether a meeting is necessary
      2m 50s
    2. Scheduling the meeting
      3m 0s
    3. Establishing ground rules
      2m 50s
    4. Determining who is in charge
      3m 21s
    5. Having an agenda
      2m 50s
    6. Preparing development
      4m 30s
    7. Coming prepared
      3m 0s
  4. 26m 5s
    1. Budgeting time
      2m 32s
    2. Taking minutes
      2m 34s
    3. Opening
      2m 32s
    4. Presenting the development
      3m 38s
    5. Following up on commitments
      2m 24s
    6. Giving everyone a voice
      3m 32s
    7. Giving and taking feedback
      3m 14s
    8. Keeping meetings productive and on topic
      2m 27s
    9. Reviewing action items and closing the meeting
      2m 2s
    10. Reviewing minutes
      1m 10s
  5. 15m 39s
    1. Understanding the importance of the one-to-one
      2m 29s
    2. Deciding who to meet with in a one-to-one
      2m 50s
    3. Establishing a one-to-one schedule
      2m 44s
    4. Determining the one-to-one agenda
      1m 56s
    5. Listening effectively ("What do you need from me?")
      1m 36s
    6. Delegating effectively ("This is what I need from you.")
      2m 19s
    7. Reviewing action items and closing
      1m 45s
  6. 4m 12s
    1. Completing action items
      1m 16s
    2. Following up on action items delegated to others
      2m 6s
    3. Reassessing the effectiveness of meetings
      50s
  7. 49s
    1. Final thoughts
      49s

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