How many hours a week do you spend on meetings? According to the statistics, it is around 18h. I have seen leaders who are managed by their calendars saying, "I'm so busy. Look at my calendar all that meetings." Meetings are part of work, not the actual work so why have we made a full-time job out of it (and sending emails)?
"Unnecessary meetings are a $100 million mistake at big companies, according to a new survey that shows workers probably don’t need to be in nearly a third of the appointments they attend." Bloomberg.
“Meetings do control us, and bad meetings have an enormous cost," said Rogelberg, who’s been researching meetings for two decades. “You get a meeting invite and say, ‘I don’t need to be there,’ yet you say yes — why?" Why do leaders and managers insist on having countless meetings?
- We were told and taught by our predecessors to do it. Guess what? Things have changed, so please run with the program.
- It is a routine. Break it.
- We think it makes us communicators good communicators. It doesn't. People can talk a lot without saying anything of substance.
- We want to be inclusive, so we invite even the kitchen sink to every meeting. People don't need to be included in everything. Just look at the stats.
- It puts us in the centre of attention that we may not get otherwise. But people don't pay attention. They are all zoomed out. Look around.
- We have equated meetings with doing the actual job. No, it is not the job.
- We think that things will get done if we talk about them. Things get done when we are doing them. Instead of talking, start doing the task with the team and see what happens. The job will get done.
- To show dominance. Hmmm.... people are not feeling dominated.
- To delay the decision. Yes, we know it! Otherwise, we really would not have so many meetings. We don't have that much to talk about.
Here is a great practice, specify the maximum number of meetings (3?) your team can attend a week and let them decide what they are. You will immediately see which are the important ones.