Meetings are part of our professional life. We spend a substantial part of our day in attending to these events: for managers and executives, this can easily be 50% of their time or more.
During the current Covid19 period, this is usually limited to virtual meetings, but as we have the advantage to work remotely, we are losing the advantage to easily interact with our colleagues, managers, people from other departments. We are forced to hold more conferences than needed in the past and for this the effectiveness of the event is crucial. But this is just one side of the story. The preparation for the meeting is as important as holding it.
These are the 5 tips that I suggest you consider before starting to schedule one of these events.
1. Is it really needed?
I have seen meetings scheduled for really simple and obvious questions. Do not misunderstand me – meetings can be powerful. But it is wise to think about the topic and rethink again: can we solve this alone? Can I take the action alone? Is it really needed?
2. Create a meaningful subject and description
It seems obvious, but in the end, this is the first sentence that the invitees will see. It is good to write a clear subject that reflects the real nature of the meeting. I really like to add a brief description to the meeting: the “PPP” can help. Purpose, Process and Payoff. People will have a clear idea of what is going to happen.
3. Relevant people only
Review consciously your audience, and invite relevant people only: who can really contribute? Are all these managers really required? Just think about it.
4. Do not forget the attachments
This is a powerful tool. Most probably the meeting will include some documents to be reviewed together, or it will refer to a historical fact. With the proper attachment, your attendees can prepare in advance. An additional remark: please avoid what I call a “Matryoshka Attachment”. For sure you have seen one: you have an email attached, which opens another email, and another one, which will include the excel file you need. Simply attach the excel that is required.
5. Challange the duration
Do you really need 1 hour? In my experience, 90% of the meetings are scheduled for 1 hour. Try to fit in 30 minutes: people will be more engaged, and if needed, you can still schedule a followup.