5 Tactics to Keep Your Meetings Focused
Number #2 is a must: consider the actual cost of a meeting.
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#1 Live by the “three bounce rule”
Managers swear by this simple rule.
As soon as meeting participants have three back-and-forth exchanges on a topic, that subject is tabled for a separate meeting.
This helps a meeting get back on track.
#2 Consider the actual cost of a meeting
Meetings are more expensive than you think once you start calculating their cost in dollars and cents.
Gathering 10 engineers in a room for an hour might cost close to $400 in their collective time.
Does the meeting add that much value?
#3 Focus on impact
Whenever someone in a meeting gives a status update, get them to mention how their work impacts others in the room.
This rule ensures meetings focus on what actually makes a difference.
#4 Never run a meeting without an agenda
A meeting without an agenda is a meeting without a purpose.
When you’re scheduled to attend a meeting or a call that doesn’t have one, prepare by writing out the main points you want to get across.
#5 Identify whether your employees are “makers” or “managers”
An employee usually has one of two types of schedules:
A manager schedule, where every day is full of meetings
A makers schedule, which is almost always sparse
Managers are used to hopping from one meeting to another, while a meeting in a maker’s schedule can destroy productivity—limiting an ability to dig deep into a project, a writing assignment, or a logo design.
Mind whether the employee you’re meeting is a maker or a manager.
As Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator, put it, with a maker’s schedule, “a single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces, each too small to do anything hard in.”