Are Your Meetings MINM or JAM?
by Eileen McDargh
to Eileen McDargh
More Details at: http://www.EileenMcDargh.com
When people come to your meetings, do they say "this
is a meeting I never miss" ( MINM) or do they say "this
is just another meeting." (JAM) Unproductive meetings
gobble up an estimated 20% of corporate payrolls, throwing
away $420 billion a year. American business people engage
in an estimated 11 million meetings every workday. The average
American executive spends 17 hours a week in meetings and
more than 6 hours preparing. At an average salary of $45,000,
more than $18,000 per executive is spent in meetings. Before
you call another meeting, ask yourself: · what's the
outcome I want from this meeting? The more people know what
"deliverables" should come from the meeting, the
more focus you can bring to the conversations. · Is
there a more effective way of getting the results without
a meeting? · who REALLY needs to be involved? ·
when is the optimum time to have it and what time limit shall
I set? Sounds silly, but agendas make a huge difference. And
forget 'old business". Who ever got excited about starting
a meeting with "old business"! If it has relevancy
to current situations, it is not "old"-it is pressing
business. The skills of running an effective meeting can easily
be learned. These skills involve gatekeeping (i.e. making
sure that one person does not monopolize the meeting), summarizing
the points, calling for a decisions, establishing protocols,
and keeping discussion on track. However, there are times
when one needs someone else to conduct a meeting. The more
emotion that is connected to a meeting, the more complex the
issues, the more it behooves you to consider using a facilitator.
A wise facilitator creates a setting that makes it "safe"
for people to speak their truth. A facilitator creates a process
around whatever is the desired outcome of the meeting and
can hold people to the task. When I have been brought in to
facilitate, I make it a practice of interviewing the participants
beforehand and creating a composite of the various "common
threads" of concern. In this fashion, no one person is
singled out and the meeting can get down to the important
elements. Likewise, as an external facilitator, I have no
political agenda or job security hanging in the balance. Thus,
it frees me to focus totally on helping the participants reach
their outcome. Time is the most precious commodity we have.
Time-wasting meetings constitute the greatest theft of all.
Conduct them well and judiciously and you'll hear people say,
"We've got to START meeting like this!".