Friday, September 21, 2012

Why Business Meetings Are Often a Waste of Time — and Productivity

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Internal meetings are the bane of corporate life. There are too many meetings, they take too long, and they get too little accomplished.
Why? Because most meetings are really not necessary. Before you call a meeting, think about whether you can accomplish your goals through email or a quick phone call. You rarely need to call a meeting if you’re just planning on sharing information or issuing action instructions. By contrast, meetings may be needed to debate issues or to develop new approaches.
You also shouldn’t feel the need to attend every meeting to which you’re invited. Quite often, you can politely refuse an invitation by pointing out your imminent deadlines. Even if you can’t avoid the meeting completely, it can give you a good excuse for bowing out after a set time limit (30 or 60 minutes, for instance).
Even if a meeting is necessary, you can still reduce the employee-hours spent in meetings by limiting invitations to only those employees who are vitally necessary—letting as many people as possible avoid the meeting entirely. Empirical research suggests that a smaller group (five to seven) is more effective at decision-making, so making your meetings smaller should make for a more productive meeting as well.
Most importantly, you should keep your meetings as short as possible. Meetings rarely need to last for more than one hour, and virtually never past 90 minutes. After that, employees will lose concentration and little more will get done. One way to enforce time limits is to take the chairs out of the meeting room; when standing up, participants get down to business very quickly.
When there are meetings, good preparation is the key to their productivity. When some participants don’t prepare for a meeting, the first part must be devoted to getting everyone up to speed. This is a disincentive for anyone to prepare for future meetings.
To encourage good preparation, the leader should send out background materials and an agenda, at least a day in advance. If you find that a particular leader often forgets this step, you can make your attendance conditional on receiving these materials with enough lead-time. But be sure to fulfill your end of the bargain: if the leader sends out advance materials, read them carefully before the meeting.
If everyone prepares, you can have a more productive meeting. After brief introductory remark by the leader (15 minutes or so), participants can debate the issue in question or develop new approaches. But often the introduction goes on and on, leaving little time for discussion. That totally undercuts the primary purpose for having a meeting.
Long introductions are particularly irritating when they take the form of PowerPoint presentations. We have all been bored to death when someone marches through 20 or 30 PowerPoint slides, reading every word on each slide. If that starts to happen, nicely say, “Your points are really interesting, so I hope we can have as much time as possible to discuss your presentation.”
At the end of any meeting, all participants should agree on the next steps, along with a deadline for each step. The leader should resist the urge to make this decision himself or herself: if participants can set their own goals, they’ll be more likely to buy into them.
In short, you cannot eliminate meetings totally. But you can get rid of most of them, limit their size, and keep them short. And you can structure the necessary meetings to maximize their productivity.


Picture of the week

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Six tips for more effective meeting

We always have meeting with team and other people in many purpose. We really want our meeting to be more effective. There are six tips for more effective meeting.

1. Don't meet
Avoid a meeting if the same information could be covered in a memo, e-mail or brief report.

2.  Set objective for meeting
Before planning the agenda, determine the objective of the meeting. The more concrete your objective, the more focused your agenda will be.

3. Provide a agenda before hand
Your agenda needs to include a one sentence description of the meeting objective, a list of the topics to be covered and a list starting who will address each topic for how long, follow the agenda closely during the meeting.

4. Assign meeting preparation
Give all participants something to prepare for the meeting and that meeting will take on a new significance to each group member.

5. Assign action items
Don't finish any discussion in the meeting without decide how to act on it.

6. Examine your meeting process
Don't leave the meeting without assign what take place and making a plan to improve.

To be more effective meeting are six tips such as don't meet, set objective for meeting, provide a agenda before hand, assign meeting preparation, assign action items, and examine your meeting process. I hope it will help you success for each meeting and get good result.