Spend less time on status reports, and more time on decision making
Make the most of your time together
When you’re operating at a high level, it seems like everything is important, urgent, and vying for your attention. You have a lot on your plate and it can feel like meetings take you away from the work that really matters. If the meetings are infrequent, people often resort to giving a status update on what’s happening with the company without getting into meatier problem-solving or decision-making.
We’ve become all too familiar with the pain points prevalent in meetings. Meetings where one person dominates the conversations, meetings scheduled for every tiny bump in the road, or meetings where you end up in the weeds rather than focusing on the bigger picture. If these pain points are present in executive meetings, they are likely common in meetings across the organization. When certain behaviors are allowed or not, people take notice and this trickles down to meetings at all levels.
More and more data is coming out about how much time and money we are wasting in meetings. In fact, executives consider 67% of meetings as failures. Depending on the executives’ salary, that could be a hefty sum of wasted money each year. Sixty-five percent of senior managers said meetings keep them from completing work.
Focus on what's most important
Your time is precious and meetings should be a place where you get your most important work done. Rather than listening to status reports, you could be making important decisions or reflecting on strategy. Meetings are the place where you can get critical feedback from your team in order to improve your processes.
When you improve your meetings at the executive level, these healthy behaviors trickle down into the rest of the organization. Each executive will take these meeting behaviors back to the managers they support, and those managers will pass it on to their direct reports. Eventually, this single improvement in your own meetings will have a huge positive impact on your organization’s culture.
Set your team up for success
- Focus on what’s most important. Share the purpose and agenda for the meeting so each person is clear on why they are there and what you aim to achieve.
- Get more out of your time together. Send a reminder 24 hours before the meeting to ensure everyone has reviewed the agenda and added their discussion points.
- Fewer status reports and more strategy. Each person has the opportunity to share their status report before the meeting, so the rest of the meeting can focus on what’s working and not working.
- Show your team you care by respecting their time. Get more done in each meeting so you spend less time in meetings and more time on what matters most.
- Get important feedback from your team. Have better conversations with your executives and give them space to share how you can improve as a team.
- Keep everyone accountable. Assign action items and due dates to help everyone keep their promises to the team.
Templates for executives
- People arrive late to the meeting, costing the company hundreds of dollars.
- Conversations have a lack of direction and meander all over the place.
- The team doesn’t come prepared so meetings often become a status update or “report-out.”
- You feel like meetings take you away from doing the work that truly matters.
- A lot of decisions are made during your meeting, but there’s a lack of follow-through after the meeting.
- Specific guidelines are included in the meeting invitation that everyone reviews ahead of time.
- Conversations are focused on what’s most important right now.
- Everyone prepares ahead of time so you can have real conversations about the work that matters.
- Meetings are where you get important work done which accelerates your work outside of the meeting.
- Each action item is assigned and given a due date as the conversation unfolds.