Let’s Have Better Meetings!
How to run a tighter ship and make better use of everyone’s time
We’ve all been there: Sitting around a conference table, our eyes shifting from person to person as we try to figure out exactly what we’re all together to accomplish. Frustration growing as we realize we’re working without a clear purpose, without all the relevant people or information we need, and we now have 24 minutes left until we need to adjourn so that we can do this all again in our next meeting.
Yuck. We can certainly do better. In fact, for our collective sanity, we have to do better. Otherwise we’ll waste the primes of our lives sitting around in sterile conference rooms waiting for something to happen.
So, instead, let’s bring the same thoughtfulness to our meetings that we bring to the research we conduct, the workshops we facilitate, and the “regular” work that we do all the rest of the time.
Every meeting needs a “PAL”
That’s a fancy acronym for Purpose, Agenda, Length. And we promise, if you stop reading right now and simply add a mandatory PAL to every meeting you convene and attend, your work life will improve dramatically.
Begin on time
If the plan is to come together for a 10 a.m. meeting and it’s 10 a.m., get moving. If you wait for the habitually tardy or those who replied “maybe,” you’ll likely be waiting a while and wasting everyone’s time as you do. Instead, jump in. If nothing else, it’ll add a bit of drama to the proceedings as everyone anticipates how Boss Brooke will react when they realize the world didn’t stop spinning in their absence.
Establish and assign roles
Who’s taking notes? Capturing to-do’s? Watching the clock? All of those roles could fall to you or could be delegated to those in the room with you. Whatever you decide, be specific about who’s responsible for what.
Set the ground rules
Are we time-boxing topics or letting the conversation flow? Is there an…