What's the worst thing that could happen to you at work other than being fired? That's right going to MEETINGS. Just think of sitting today (on a Friday) cooped up in a windowless conference room at 3:30 PM for another hour. Lights dimmed, watching slide #65 with 15 bullet points? Droning voice? Closed door - really hot - the person next to you getting ripe? Is that what you dreamed about when you graduated from college?
Meetings. They suck the lifeblood right out of your body. Here's a little tip — don't go.
That's right. Flee . . . run away. You have better things to do with your time.
If you are an attendee to a meeting:
- Try to decline. You probably don't need to attend 25-50% of the meetings you go to. Why? Because most meetings are either superfluous or your attendance will not add any value to the discussion.
- Arrive late — Leave early. Don't just do this, it's impolite. Let the organizer and some key people know that you will be doing this. Then you still get the gist of the proceedings AND cut your meeting time by 25-50%.
- See if you can change the meeting into a short one-to-one discussion. 75% of meetings are too formal, go on much too long, and allow the more mentally challenged executives to run their mouth for hours. Edit it down. If all else fails:
- Keep the meeting on point. If the meeting organizer is not organized, you take the lead and keep people on point. They will love you for it.
If you are running the meeting:
- Cancel it. Do you really need to have this meeting? Can it just be a short conversation between 2-3 people?
- Shorten it. My experience in corporate (20 years) tells me that most if not all meetings are always too long. If you've scheduled an hour, make it 20 minutes. 30 minutes? Make it 15. Any more than an hour, shame on you!
- Get rid of the chairs. Make everyone stand around a whiteboard. Act like a sports coach - ask questions - make decisions. With no chairs, people will want to get out of there ASAP.
Smart executives regularly turn down at least 50% of the meetings they are invited to. That's how they have time to do all the cool things they want to do AND get their work done.
Love to hear your thoughts – comment below or email me anytime! – Rich