Too Many Meetings

How much time do you spend in meetings? I know that I spend way too much time in meetings. I bet I spend at least 40% of my time in meetings. Seth Godin comments on meetings a little on his blog today. He points out there are a few different types of meetings.
  • Just so everyone knows. This is a meeting in which one person or small group tells other people what's already been decided and is about to happen. These meetings should always have a written piece to go with them, and in many cases, it should be distributed a day before the meeting. The meeting should be very short, take place in an auditorium type setting, not a circle, and have focused Q&A at the end. Even a quiz. It's the football huddle, and the running back isn't supposed to challenge the very premises the quarterback is using to call the play.
  • What are you up to. This is a meeting in which every participant needs to present the state of their situation. It probably happens on a regular basis and each person should have a strict time limit. Like two minutes (with an egg timer). After presenting the situation, each attendee can send their summary in an email to one person, who can sum it up and send it out to everyone.
  • What does everyone think? In third place, a meeting where anyone can speak up. People who don't speak up on a regular basis should not be invited back. It's obvious they are good at some other function in the office, so you're wasting their time if they sit there.
  • We need a decision right now. These are ad hoc meetings that have a specific agenda and should end with a decision. A final decision that doesn't get reviewed.
  • Hanging out meetings. These are meetings with no real agenda, lots of side conversations, bored people, people instant messaging and just sort of hanging out. Sometimes these are fun, but I wouldn't know, because I haven't been to one in three years.
  • To hear myself talk meetings. You get the idea.
Understanding the different types of meetings will help you set the meeting agenda and ensure you don't waste time.
Corey Smith is the Vice President of Innovation at Fisher's Document Systems where he maintains a blog on business and technology.



Corey Smith is the president of Tribute Media a web development firm providing high performing, industry specific websites. He is a businessman, writer, technology fanatic, graphic designer and web developer. His greatest passion is teaching, consulting and speaking.

You can find him on Twitter, FaceBook, FriendFeed, and LinkedIn.


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