|Dear Meeting Guru,
"How do you decide how long is long enough
for a meeting? What is the most effective method for eliminating
items from your meeting that are for only one person in the meeting
and not for the whole group?"
Basically, there isn't an ideal amount of time to allocate to all meetings.
In fact, most meetings must be considered on a case-by-case basis. When planning
a meeting, evaluate the amount of information that must be addressed. Then consider
the degree to which each agenda item must be discussed. Only then will you be
able to allocate an appropriate quantity of time for that particular meeting.
Remember to be realistic! Don't try and squeeze too many agenda items into your
shorter meetings. You'll end up going overtime and participants will become
Here's another tip to keep in mind the meeting should adjourn the moment
the meeting objective has been achieved. Don't continue meeting simply because
it's what the schedule dictates! Even if it's 20 minutes early, finish once
the group has reached its meeting goals.
Also, when planning how long your meeting will last, don't forget to include
breaks. If your meeting lasts longer than an hour, take 10-minute breaks every
If you notice an agenda item that is simply there to inform one person in the
meeting and not the whole group, suggest that it be covered off in an e-mail.
Meetings should be used to make decisions, solve problems or brainstorm, not
to update. Instead of meeting, try sharing information via e-mail or by posting
reports on the company's network. Not only will this help your group eliminate
many of its meetings, but it will also help people stay informed. Doing this
might also help eliminate those agenda items that apply to only one person in
the meeting and not the whole group.
Also, if you're planning a meeting, ensure that all the agenda items relate
to the meeting's objective. If a suggested agenda item doesn't directly apply
to the objective of the meeting or the participants, then recommend that the
item be discussed in a different meeting or that an e-mail be sent to the appropriate
Below, you'll find some links to related articles on EffectiveMeetings.com.
To Meet or Not To Meet
That Is the
Spend Less Time in Meetings
As the wise philosopher
Confucius once said, "To speak when there is nothing to be said; this is
imprudence. To be silent when there is something to be said; this is deception.
To speak without paying attention to the expression on the person's face; this
is called blindness." In other words, a wise man knows when to speak and
when to be silent even in meetings. By sharing the information here with
the other meeting participants, you can help them understand when they should
be sharing information and when they should not.
may good meeting karma always be with you!