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The best way to have a group meeting is on a recurring schedule. There are four considerations when it comes to scheduling group meetings: frequency, rhythm, technology, and reminders. First let's talk about frequency. Frequency simply refers to how often you should meet and how long the meeting should be. As a general rule, the more often you meet the shorter the meeting should be. Conversely, the less often you meet the longer the meeting should be. For example, if we have one meeting per month as a company then that meeting maybe 50 or even 80 minutes long.
If, however, you feel it's necessary to have a meeting once per week then that meeting should be much shorter, perhaps 25 minutes long. Second let's consider the rhythm, specifically the rhythm of the business. Every business has a unique rhythm to it, times and days when you're more likely to be interrupted or where the workload is going to be the heaviest. For example, consider a sales department. There are key times of the week when sales rep should be out making contacts and transactions.
Consider the times when you're least likely to be interrupted and when there aren't other important things that should be taking place. The third consideration is technology, in particular the technology that you use to schedule the meeting. There are many fantastic tools available to help with scheduling meetings. They can help you see the schedules of every person that you're inviting to the meeting, that allow you to suggest multiple times to multiple people, and will even handle the coronation for you. When it comes to finding a time to meet as a group, whether it's recurring or just one time, use one of these technology tools. Let the technology do the work for you. It will save you hours of frustration and a lack of focus.
And finally, when scheduling a meeting consider how reminders will be sent out. By sending reminders you make it easy for people to keep the date and time. You give them a moment to remember the meeting and recommit to attend. I recommend two kinds of reminders. First, use automatic computer reminders. All calendaring programs have the opportunity to create a reminder for yourself when scheduling a meeting. I recommend that you use that feature. Set a reminder as far off before the meeting as you feel is necessary and if you're scheduling with other people, encourage them to do the same.
The second type is the personal reminder. The easiest way to remind others is through email. For example, you can have one member of the team assigned the responsibility of sending a brief email to everyone reminding them of the meeting time and location. Consider the frequency, rhythm, technology, and reminders when scheduling your group meetings and you'll make the best use of your meeting time.
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