The problem is not too many meetings.

Most meetings are not productive relative to the time spent meeting. People believe they could be getting more done with the time consumed by meetings. This is generally true. But that’s because you don’t have enough meetings.

I propose you have more meetings of shorter duration. In fact, I recommend using a timer to keep meetings brief and on schedule.

For example, let’s say you need to discuss a new marketing plan. Limit the meeting to 30 minutes and that single topic. Say what needs to be said and accept input. Then plan a follow up meeting of even shorter duration for the next day. You’ll find that people will speak more concisely and they will stay on topic. You’ll actually accomplish more in less time.

Limit meetings to one or two topics. The reason meetings last too long and become dull is that too much is covered at a single meeting.

This works. I’ve taught this concept at many companies and have sliced hours of time spent in meetings. Energy levels run much higher at a meeting if people know it will last only 20 minutes.

Try it.

Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog
[email protected]