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Narrow your meeting focus

Friday, 30 March 2012 | By Taskmaster

This article first appeared February 9, 2011.

 

Meetings. You’ve got to love them. Yesterday I was involved in a meeting about our sales strategy. It was like being in a zoo.

 

There were sales people in there. There were account managers in there. There were designers and sales support staff in there. There were finance people in there. There were production people in there. Heck, somebody even bought along a work experience kid so they could “see what it was like”.

 

More than 10 minutes after the meeting was supposed to get underway, there were still people searching for chairs. I got up and started pointing.

 

“You don’t need to be here. Neither do you. Neither do you. I don’t even know who you are. I think you’ve got better things to do. And I don’t need to be here either.”

 

Now, it’s not that most of those people didn’t need to hear the results of the meeting. But did they need to be in there, giving their two cents worth? No way.

 

Meetings should be short, focused and designed to make one or two key decisions. The more people and agenda items there are, the greater the chance for things to get off track.

 

If you must have a large number of areas of your business represented at a meeting, trim down the attendee list by inviting one representative from each department, not everyone. No observers, only participants.

 

And keep the agenda to no more than three items.

 

Get it done – today!