One of the most dangerous Time Vampire is Mr. Meeting. Some people seem to do nothing but attend meetings. Just as I was about to start writing this blog, a colleague of mine dragged me into a 20-minute,four-person conference call to discuss when we could have next, longer conference call to plan a meeting. Geez.
Being in a meeting is seductive. It is a way to feel important. Its also a great way to hide from making and taking responsibility for decisions. Meetingitis is a disease that turns businesses into unproductive, indecisive, slow moving coffee klatches. (The two toughest CEOs I know hold only stand up meetings No chairs)
If you are to hold a meeting, here are several stakes you can use to stop the time vampires from making it endless blood klatch
- Set the meeting for immediately before lunch or end of the day, so the vampires are eager to get it done and over with, turn into bats, and fly out of there.
- Dont serve refreshments. After all, you cant advise with your mouth full.
- Circulate written agenda in advance.
- Have and communicate a clear, achievable objective for the meeting.
- Determine in advance what information you are to contribute, then do it with a prepared, minimum-time, maximum-impact presentation.
Finally, be careful with Mr.Trivia. He either cant or doesnt want to differentiate between the important and unimportant, urgent and not urgent, minor and major.
Mr.Trivia will interrupt to tell you just about anything, ranging from the building on fire to the office supply store having delivered blue pens instead of black pens. Usually it will be the latter.
There you have it.Make your next meeting short, precise and ultimately productive….. if you must have one.