Whether at school with classmates or at work with co-workers, I always hated having to go to meetings that would drag on and on and really never seemed to get to the point, or if they did, it took way too long to get there.
I mean, I had stuff to do, I had work that needed to get done, and if other people didn’t, it didn’t mean they needed to waste my time with their silly meetings.
Therefore, here are four other the techniques that I utilized to help keep meeting whether with college classmates or in the workplace, short, sweet and to the point.
Avoid the Treats
Sure, I like coffee, donuts, breakfast pastries, and other treats just as much as the next person, but that doesn’t mean they belong at my meetings. Serve them afterwards. That’s fine. But I’ve noticed that people are often more interested in chomping away, slurping noisily, wiping up spills, and dealing with other food related distractions that take away from what’s going on in the meeting and extend the meeting’s length.
Having an idea of what you want to accomplish and how you want your meeting to proceed can help keep the process flowing smoothly and keep wasted time to a minimum. I used to have a boss who would forward his agenda to all meeting participants in advance to the meeting. This way everyone could prepare their own individual portions to discuss as well as know going in to the meeting what to expect to keep things on track and to the point.
Start on Time
I realized early on when holding meetings of my own that starting on time was important and that I had to lead by example when it came to being punctual. If I waited to start until 9:03, next time people would show up at 9:05. If I waited until 9:05, then next time people would arrive at 9:07, and so on and so forth. It’s kind of like a roadway speed limit. The majority of people are going to push the envelope just a little bit if given the opportunity.
Allowing for questions throughout a meeting can take up a lot of extra time and cause things to get off topic. I would often hold questions until the end of a meeting, or if in a longer session, I would wait until subject breaks to open the floor for questions. This kept things from getting bogged down in constant interruptions, which not only could result in longer meetings but could diminish the poignancy of the subject matter being discussed.
Disclaimer: The author is not a licensed educational professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or educational advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.