Tired of Too Many Meetings? This Brilliant 4-Question Meeting May Be Your Solution

INDONESIAKININEWS.COM -  I once read a cartoon: "If you are lonely, call a meeting." Given the number of meetings, there appears t...

 I once read a cartoon: "If you are lonely, call a meeting." Given the number of meetings, there appears to be a lot of lonely people. The negative impact of meeting madness is real to your team's productivity and mental health.

Meetings have drastically increased since the pandemic began, now accounting for 21.5 hours of your week. What's worse, per the National Bureau of Economic Research, attendees per meeting went up by 13.5 percent. Yet still, we strive for "efficiency" with 15- or 30-minute sessions, and there is a relentless need to pivot, reorient, and prepare for even more meetings.

Well-organized meetings create fresh thinking and enable better decisions. No bystanders allowed. To accomplish this, Columbia Business School professor Christopher Frank, co-author of Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance Between Intuition and Information, shares a quick four-question process.
  1. What is the purpose -- inform or compel?
  2. What is the issue in seven words or fewer?
  3. Who has already weighed in and what did they have to say?
  4. What could surprise me in this meeting?
Using midlevel salary data from Glassdoor, the cost of a 10-person one-hour meeting is approximately $2,340. If you have 100 people in meetings, that amounts to almost a quarter of a million dollars per week. This doesn't factor in the opportunity cost of not accomplishing other tasks or lost customer time. "Now that the meetings are over, I can start to get work done" is heard in the hallways. So, what can we do better?

1. What is the purpose -- to inform or compel?

Deciding if you are seeking to inform versus compel will fundamentally change how you prepare, the information needed, whom you engage, and how you lead the meeting. "As you analyze your calendar, strive for a 3:1 ratio of compel versus inform meetings," says Frank.
  • Inform: The organizer shares relevant data. There is no attendee prep. But first ask, do you need to meet? Can you accomplish the same objective by sending the information so it can be consumed asynchronously?
  • Compel: These meetings focus on action or a decision. Whether internal or customer facing, the goal is to finalize the path forward. You should frame if the decision at hand is permanent or reversible. Understanding if a decision can be changed is psychologically critical for the group. Brainstorming meetings are a great approach to creating pathways toward building a decision.
2. What is the issue in seven words or fewer?

Run a quick exercise to frame the issue prior to your next meeting. Have each person articulate why they're meeting in seven words. If their replies are inconsistent or lengthy, don't meet. Work on aligning expectations and seek agreement on the data considered important. Then, you can meet knowing everyone is working toward the same goal.

3. Who has already weighed in, and what did they have to say?

Sharing who is already engaged gives your meeting invite credibility. Assuming you talked to the right people and secured stakeholders' input, it will be easier for attendees to engage and commit. It also exposes if you missed inviting key people or if there are interim steps to take before meeting. It reduces the risk of revisiting existing conversations and moves the dialogue forward.

4. What could surprise me in this meeting?

According to Frank, "Surprises are wake-up calls to your brain." People want meaningful dialogue. Asking "what is surprising" exposes new learning. It highlights outliers in the data, draws connections between seemingly unrelated conclusions, and focuses the discussion on what is new.

The ideal meeting begins before anyone meets. The next time you receive an invite, asking these four questions will save time and enable you to manage the fire hose of requests.

Source: inc


IndonesiaKiniNews.com: Tired of Too Many Meetings? This Brilliant 4-Question Meeting May Be Your Solution
Tired of Too Many Meetings? This Brilliant 4-Question Meeting May Be Your Solution
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