Make meetings matter

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“Meetings have become organizational anacondas. They don’t bite, but kill prey through suffocation.” – Jack Bergstrand in The Velocity Advantage.

This was true before the pandemic. But COVID-19 has brought with it a wave of virtual meetings. As noted in this Fortune article, we are working more now. And that includes more meetings. How can we improve meetings in a virtual world?

First: ask yourself if the meeting is absolutely necessary. While we crave connection, people are experiencing “Zoom fatigue”– on top of regular fatigue. What are you trying to achieve with your meeting? If a quick phone call, email, or chat, could address it, consider that option.

If you believe a meeting is essential, determine “Where you intend to go and Why” before the meeting. Define the desired purpose and outcome of the meeting and communicate that with the participants. Another way to think about this is, “What does success for this meeting look like?”

Next, determine the top three priorities of the meeting – What do you need to do and When, and what are the key results of those priorities? Know what you want to accomplish before you start the meeting.

Finally, if needed, during the meeting establish How to achieve your priorities and Who needs to be responsible. Make sure you have an overall implementation plan in place so that the meeting results in action and people know what to do next.

Video conferencing is a wonderful tool, to be used judiciously. For recurring meetings, consider giving people a video break and connecting by voice only from time to time. For some additional video meeting tips, check out this article from Forbes on managing video fatigue.

If you’d like help running better meetings and getting better outcomes, please get in touch with us.


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