Whether it’s between family members, colleagues or the PTA crowd - MEETINGS can be big time wasters. So, here’s how to get more out of a discussion – in LESS time – courtesy of the Bottom Line Personal.
- Set an END time. Stuart R. Levine is a leadership expert and author of Cut To The Chase. And he says knowing when you have to wrap things up will keep a meeting on track. So, when the pace of a meeting lags, remind everyone how much time is left. “Hey guys – let’s stay focused. We only have 15 minutes left.”
- Forget about a group consensus. More than likely, not everyone is going to agree on one course of action. So, before you ask for individual opinions, determine how a decision will be made. Will majority rule? Will a select few people decide? Will YOU have final say? Make sure everyone understands who’s ultimately in charge.
- If you ask a question, tell the person answering you, “Thanks, I got it” when you’ve heard enough. That way they know to move on, and you won’t have to listen to them go on and on when it’s not necessary. Also, ask people to do the same with you. This’ll save time and keep everyone alert. Because when we sit through explanations of things we already understand, we tune out and lose our mental edge.
- Debrief yourself after you wrap up. Levine suggests spending 2 to 5 minutes asking yourself what you did right, what could’ve gone better or faster, and what your next step is. Do you need to send a memo? Or do a particular task? Going over these things immediately after the meeting – when things are still fresh in your mind – can save you hours later.