If you hate meetings, you are not alone. In a recent study conducted by Cisco WebEx, we found 9 out of 10 workers would prefer to interact in any other way than attend a meeting, yet we spend more time in meetings than any other form of interaction (infographic below).
The problem: those attending meetings feel like they are ineffective.
When meetings don't work, we tend to feel the pain. More than half those surveyed reported that time spent in meetings means they have to stay later at the work or work from home because they have too much to get done.
But meetings don't have to be bad.
The fact is we need to have meetings, so the trick is making them work better. We have four tips for Mastering Meetings:
- Have a clear agenda. List specific goals for the meeting. Be open to contributions and brainstorming but stick to the plan.
- Consider "standing meetings". Sitting is not allowed which can keep a team focused on addressing critical topics.
- Use an online meeting service (WebEx!). Everyone participating sees the same thing at the same time and can still see each other via webcam. The meeting can be recorded so you can focus on leading the meeting rather than slowing things down with taking notes.
- Be flexible. Let people participate in a way that works from them from Smartphones to tablets and everything in-between. Remote access allows everyone to join regardless of what they are doing or where they are.
This infographic shows the interesting results from the research (click on the image to see it full size).