Meetings are just one form of communicate. Chat, email, collaborative digital tools and meetings are all good for some things and not others. While it seems simple to say, “let’s have a meeting,” it is important to pause and consider if a meeting is really necessary.
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Learn more about how to have productive meetings and build a healthy meeting culture in my book, Momentum: Creating Effective, Engaging, and Enjoyable Meetings.
- Meetings are quite costly when you factor in the time to plan, schedule, complete pre-work, meet and follow-up. Plus there are emotional costs to sitting in meetings that feel unproductive.
- Meetings are only one form of communication. All forms of communication have their best uses.
- Before scheduling a meeting, be clear about why you’re meeting and what you want to accomplish (the desired outcome).
- Once you know what you need to accomplish, decide if a meeting is the right next step. Consider a meeting alternative such as sending an email or memo, chat (e.g. Slack or Microsoft Teams), or a collaborative document (Google Doc, InvisionApp, etc) might be better suited.
- A meeting alternative can be used as a first step in which it helps you narrow the focus of your meeting based on the initial responses.
- To know if a meeting is the right next step, look at your desired outcome and ask yourself the following questions: (1) Do I need the participants to listen to, respond to, or interact with one another? (2) Is there a lot of complexity in the content or situation that needs real-time discussion? (3) Do I need to generate buy-in with this group of people?
- If the answers to all are No, then a meeting is likely not necessary.
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