Donna McGeorge, author of The 25 Minute Meeting: Half the Time, Double the Impact, has some great tips to improve the dreaded meetings madness. You know what I’m talking about. Meetings with no agenda, meetings that don’t start or stop on time, meetings with too many attendees, meetings with no clear take away. It’s exhausting and an enormous waste of time.
One of the biggest issues, says McGeorge, is, “When a problem emerges, that first instinct is to set-up a meeting and invite a cast of thousands to it.” Some tips to break meeting madness?
- Instead of scheduling a meeting, use email or tools like Slack, where you can run polls, get opinions, and send video clips.
- While the default for meeting is usually an hour, McGeorge says the ideal amount of time is 25 minutes. This number is Inspired by Francesco Cirillo’s Pomodoro method, which states that 25 minutes is the optimal amount of time for people to focus.
- McGeorge recommends having no more than seven people in attendance.
- Prepare ahead. Start the meeting by stating what you intend to accomplish. Then, use ‘scan, focus, act.’ Scan for the first 12 minutes, with everyone giving a one-minute update. The meeting lead then summarizes what they heard. Then, use the final minutes to brainstorm action items to solve the problem.
Jill, What Can I Do? I think McGeorge hit the nail on the head. Try these ideas for your next few meetings and if it works, continue with this plan. As others see how effective it is, they too will catch on and embrace the 25 Minute Meeting. If Not You, Who?