Have you seen the Forbes article sharing that global commerce giant, Shopify, is canceling all meetings that aren't one-on-one?
While meeting madness is certainly not productive, cutting them out altogether doesn't seem like the right solution.
Meetings are a great way to bring unique perspectives together, keep team members aligned and connected, and save time that would otherwise be spent emailing back and forth.
Instead of doing away with meetings cold turkey, what if we worked to make them more selective and more effective?
If you're thinking that getting rid of meetings is the right path forward, let me share a few tips with you first. Try these out before quitting meetings altogether:
Include only the necessary people - When meetings are a waste of time, it's usually because there are too many voices in the room. When sending out a calendar invite, think about which voices need to be present for which conversations. Afterward, send a quick meeting recap to anyone who didn't need to speak into the meeting but will be impacted by what was discussed.
Keep meetings at 25 or 45 minutes - Getting rid of the classic 30 or 60-minute meeting allows people to have time in between meetings to check email or get a quick break. It also encourages you to stick to the agenda.
Speaking of agendas... Save time by having a collaborative meeting agenda finalized ahead of time. You can do this in tools like Google Docs or Leadr. That way, everyone knows what's on the docket and can prepare beforehand, allowing you to make the most of meeting time. It also keeps everyone's meeting notes in one place for future reference.
Take time to follow up - End every meeting with a recap to have written confirmation of what was discussed, next steps for each attendee, and any questions or blockers that came up. Not only does this give people the opportunity to ensure you're all on the same page, it provides formal documentation to look back on if you have questions about decisions that were made, want to replicate a process, or need to resurface a previous issue. Hint: If you ever walk away from a meeting that doesn't need a recap, it's a sign that it's a meeting you can probably do away with.
This list is by no means exclusive, but if we can implement these 4 tips, I think we'll find that meetings do serve us well when done well.