The Golden Rule of Meetings:
Make them no longer than they need to be.
Three ways to accomplish this:
Have an agenda. Communicate it ahead of time if possible, and declare the intended outcomes at the beginning. If something surfaces during the meeting unrelated to the agenda you have two choices: (1) make a note and add it to an upcoming agenda (preferred) or (2) discuss it then and there (rarely).
Be ruthless with the invite list. The agenda defines who is required to contribute, and therefore, who is not. Most people are comfortable being uninvited from a meeting if they know they'll get a recap of the key takeaways afterwards. However, in order for most people to buy in to a decision, they need to weigh in, so hold this tension carefully.
End once the meeting is over. The meeting's purpose is to accomplish the agenda, not fill a predetermined amount of time. A 45 minute agenda accomplished in 25 minutes is a glorious thing. Once complete, release.
Saving even five minutes off your next meeting can make a big difference in the life of everyone who attended. Aim for it.
At Trellis Group, we believe chaos is the enemy of the small business. It's our mission to partner with small business owners and their teams to develop the managerial practices and processes to crush chaos.
If you feel overwhelmed and need a proven system to focus on the next best thing, we can help. Companies who work with us see revenues go up, anxiety go down, and work becomes a force multiplier for good in the lives of your people.
Reach out to discover how the Trellis Group can help you crush chaos.