Do your meetings fuel productivity or frustration?

Tori Zinger

I'm always interested in the topic of what makes meetings effective, and how to make them more effective. In my opinion, regular meetings that are scheduled and held with the best of intentions can sometimes become time-wasters. When your attendees feel like they aren't getting anything out of the meeting -- that they could be doing something more productive with their time -- they can disengage very quickly. I once worked for a dealership that had a sales meeting at 8:30am every morning, and literally all that occurred was (1) asking each sales person whether they had any appointments that day, and (2) unproductive chatter about who went out the bars the previous night, etc. It was extremely frustrating!  

How do you ensure your meetings are effective? How do you create value for your employees in each meeting that they can apply toward their daily operations as well as their larger career? On the flip side, what kinds of things have you experienced in meetings that you feel have been time-wasters or disengagement factors? 

Chris K Leslie

I try to have as few meetings as possible. I would rather meet with people one on one and go through anything I need to go through with them. It helps me keep things personal which means I can help them with the things they might need help with that someone else might not need. So in the long run they may take more time but equal out because the time is spent well. 

Tori Zinger

Chris, that is awesome. It's so rare to find someone in a management position who makes the time to meet with their staff one-on-one, and I'm sure that builds respect and loyalty in your organization!

Billy Alexiadis

I have to agree with Chris on this.  I don't run a dealership but a tech company and I try to keep meetings to a minimum.  However when I do schedule meetings, there is a very specific agenda such as discussing progress, problems, and strategy.  I have gotten them to the point where we don't go over 12 minutes.  This way, we get right to the point and no one loses attention because of boredom.

Jason Stum

My personal tips for successful meetings from a leadership perspective...

  1. Only invite the people that absolutely must be there.
  2. Be respectful of the scheduled time. If you're running late, communicate and don't make people wait. Reschedule if needed!
  3. Have an agenda and stay on topic.
  4. If questions arise during the meeting that aren't applicable to all attendees, answer them personally after the meeting wraps.
  5. If it looks like you're going to run past the scheduled time, ask for permission from your attendees to go over. 
  6. Ask someone if they'd be willing to take notes, and then Slack/Email them out to all invited attendees 

Oh and before I forget, I have three appointments set today and did not go to the bar last night ;)

Scott Larrabee

I thought this article/blog posted here on Driving Sales last month was pretty awesome and had some excellent tips to a great meeting. Click Here

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