What would you do if one of your most valuable possessions was taken from you? In actual fact, this valuable possession was stolen from you? You would initially be upset and anger might set in. Now what would you do if this happened to you again? And then again?
Your time is one of the most valuable possessions we have. No one is able to create more time. No one is able to purchase more time. In the wired environment we live in today, we find ourselves wired into work matters all of the time - constantly. If boundaries are not created and respected, your life becomes a 24/7 business accessible nightmare. Can you relate?
One specific area to review and act upon, with the skills of a surgeon, are the meeting demands placed upon you and your team. Who will be the one to put an end to the endless meetings? Which in reality are not effectively run, are not really necessary to hold, and have too many participants to engage in or determine action items at the conclusion of the meeting with, other than to agree to hold another meeting?
What if a checklist of items had to be followed prior to anyone holding a meeting? Consider the safety procedure and checklist followed by a jet pilot before takeoff. Everything is reviewed according to the checklist before each and every flight - Everything.
What might be on the checklist? Every company is different. Therefore the checklist should be created to meet their culture. With this being said, certain items might be consistent across all companies. A good starting point might be to state the purpose of the meeting at the top. If this cannot be filled in – No meeting. Is there an urgency or a domino impact on other business decisions related to the outcome of this meeting? This would be the item which would create the urgency of meeting now or later, the relative importance of this meeting to the calendar. The names of the departments, groups or the individuals who will need to attend and have the authority to determine the next steps and actions steps to take - Which scheduling another meeting is not considered an action step.
Rather than continue at this point, you see where this is going. The objective should be to come to as many decision points prior to holding a meeting until it is necessary to hold the meeting to decide the answers and next steps to put into action.
Who will be the one to stop the rampant theft of everyone’s time with the endless stream of inefficient and useless meetings in your workplace?
Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified personal and executive coach who resides in Stamford, CT.