Do You Really Need that Meeting?
Try keeping a scorecard for just one week –
- How many meetings produced a breakthrough idea?
- How many meetings didn’t need to be held at all?
- How many meetings taught you something you could have learned in less time elsewhere?
- How many meetings were held and you weren’t quite sure why?
- How many meetings produced absolutely no results?
Knowing how to assess if a meeting is needed enables you to save time, effort and money for your organization. It also, defines you as a leader who understands the importance of using other’s time in valuable ways.
In a recent survey of more than 2,000 business leaders, 87% said they make judgments about people’s management ability based on how they well they run meetings.
In Making Meetings Work, by Karen Anderson, the author identifies four categories to determine if a meeting is even necessary. They represent the 4P’s for Meeting Assessment:
- What are the current opportunities, conflicts, problems, concerns or time frames that a meeting could address?
- What work and decisions must be completed before the meeting?
- What information needs to be distributed?
- What work or decisions must be completed during the meeting?
- What resources, facilities, materials, information or equipment are needed to accomplish the meeting’s goal?
- Who are the people concerned with the meeting’s agenda?
- Who needs to do the work or make decisions concerning the agenda?
- Who needs information?
- Who needs to be present at the meeting?
- Could the work and decisions be accomplished through another alternative means of communication?
- Satellite conference
- Individual meetings
- Telephone calls
If any of the P’s are missing-you’re not ready to conduct the meeting. If all of the P’s are present, a meeting is necessary.