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12 Ways to End Soul-Sucking Meetings

Poorly run meetings cost US companies $399 Billion.

The survey says:

“We surveyed 182 senior managers in a range of industries:

  1. 65% said meetings keep them from completing their own work.

  2. 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient,

  3. 64% said meetings come at the expense of deep thinking.

  4. 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together.”

12 Ways to End Soul-Sucking Meetings:

#1. Eliminate back-to-back meetings.

All meetings end 10 minutes before the top of the hour.

#2. Shorten standard meeting length to 25 minutes.

#3. Prepare people to participate and put them on the agenda.

Mary presents 3 pros and 3 cons to get the conversation started.

#4. Improve meetings.

At the end of meetings, occasionally ask:

  • What made this meeting work well?

  • What’s one way to make our next meeting even better?

#5. Declare NO-MEETING times. If you’re able, declare NO-MEETING days.

#6. Make meetings small.

Observe the two-pizza rule. Two medium pizzas can feed all attendees.

#7. Eliminate multi-tasking.

  • Minimize technology. No cell phones, for example.

  • Multi-tasking lowers your IQ to an 8-year-old. (Forbes)

  • Multi-tasking makes you inefficient. (Stanford)

If you really want to be productive, do one thing at a time.

#8. Spend time building relationships.

Strong relationships and psychological safety result in efficient meetings as long as you maintain focus on goals.

#9. Don’t talk about it unless you plan to do something about it.

Spend less time criticizing and complaining and more time solving.

#10. Making decisions in the meeting, NOT before the meeting.

I’ll never forget one leader saying, “Never go into a meeting unless you know the outcome before you begin.” Foregone conclusions indicate wasted meeting time.

Discussions are manipulations if you’ve already made up your mind.

#11. Eliminate interrupting and bloviating.

#12. Reduce observers.

Anyone who consistently leaves meetings without something to do shouldn’t be in the meeting.

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