Meetings as a Form of Collaboration
Meetings. What a time sink, and yet the need for collaboration requires having meetings. I participated in a meeting that was scheduled for 30 minutes. It in fact continued for 90 minutes, and had to be rescheduled for a second session because we still didn’t get to our deliverables.
Right. And you probably have to sit through a lot more of those than I do. Collaboration through meetings is no easy task to master, is it? That’s part of the reason you need to use software like ManagePro for meeting management, but that’s another conversation. Back to the topic.
It got me thinking (I usually start thinking about a way to reframe things or alternative options when things get frustrating) about ways to reinvent meetings to save us all a lot of time. I’ll share 3 of them – let me know what you think.
1. Meetings should only treat participants as blind if, in fact, they are so. E.g. Don’t read out loud what’s written – drop the microphone and let the participants read it in 1/10th the time it will take you to verbally walk through the points. The meeting will already being moving faster.
2. Don’t tie up the podium when you can manipulate data. If you want feedback, let people write/key it in. Update the presentation document in real time. Get to the data in an interactive manner. Move from thought to data, instead of going through voice as much as you can… you have to get to data input at some point, get there faster. Try running meetings with the mute on…
3. Start from the ending and work your way back. I notice a number of people define the outcome for the meeting, and then engage in a pace or process that has no hope, absolutely no hope, of reaching that outcome within the alloted time. The best way I know to work backwards in a meeting is to be super honest about what you can accomplish in the time allotted and then live with those limitations. It’s not the federal budget, you can’t spend what you don’t have without immediate repercussions.
1. Participants should read, not listen, we’re not blind.
2. Interact with the data as much as possible, not once removed by conversation.
3. Start from the end, treat time like money, and realize this is not the federal budget, you can’t print the stuff when you run out.