Want to call a meeting today?
Then first, stop and consider the hourly cost of the people that will be attending your meeting. You'll realize quickly that calling a meeting is very expensive since no productive work is done during that time.
It's important to ensure that every person present and every minute of your meeting adds value. It’s equally important that your motivation for calling this meeting is justified and need a consensus of everyone attending. Don't invite people who won't participate but will simply report back to their boss or team (sending a copy of the meeting minutes by email will be a lot more effective). Also, don't call a meeting to tell people things that could be communicated by email or memo.
In fact, you should only call a meeting when actual decisions needs to be taken or something really needs to be discussed live with the attendees.
Then when you finally decide that you need to hold your meeting, make sure that:
- You are prepared. People don’t like seeing the main speaker confused or ill-prepared.
- You assign someone to the note-taking task. Everyone else can then actively participate, knowing that the full meeting notes will be emailed to them later that day.
- You verify that everyone present has a good reason to be present.
- You keep it short and sweet. A long, boring meeting is useless and energy-draining. The most effective meetings I've seen are the daily stand-up meetings in the Agile Methodology. They typically last from 5 to 15 minutes and still manage to get a lot done in that period of time.