As noted in a recent newsletter, nearly 11 million meetings occur in the U.S. each and every day. Additional research indicates that most professionals attend 61.8 meetings per month and that over 50 percent of this meeting time is wasted.
If these numbers are even close to accurate, consider the impact this might be having on your organization!
If you'd like some help in quantifying the related costs, consider these statistics from effectivemeetings.com outlining the direct effects of unproductive meetings:
- Poorly-run meetings last longer and generate fewer results
- The lack of results caused by unproductive meetings brings about a perceived need for more meetings in an effort to accomplish objectives
- With so much time spent in ineffective meetings, employees have less time to get their own work done
- Ineffective meetings create frustration at all staff levels
- Information generated in unproductive meetings usually isn't managed properly
- Inefficient meetings cost organizations billions of dollars each year in otherwise productive employee work time
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"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."
"Storms make trees take deeper roots."
"Tact is rubbing out another's mistake instead of rubbing it in."
"It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action."
—Al Batt, Speaker
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, but who actually strives to do the deeds."
"The skill to manage a meeting; to develop ideas, motivate people and move people and ideas to positive action, is perhaps the most critical asset in any career."
—George David Kieffer, Author
"When I die, I hope it's at a meeting!"
Paul Charles & Associates
519 Mammoth Rd - Londonderry, NH 03053
"Helping people sell more
& communicate better"
Sales managers and executives often ask about the value of running sales or team meetings, and we've found quite a bit of variation with respect to frequency, structure and effectiveness.
Your organization can experience significant gains by running effective team or sales meetings. However, if these meetings are poorly executed, it's only a matter of time before your workforce considers them to be non-productive, unnecessary or even unpleasant; in which case, certain opportunities will be forever lost!
So, the first step is to assess the quality of your organization's meetings... which include "live" meetings, teleconfernces and virtual sessions. Here are five key areas to consider:
- Preparation: do you have a strategic plan, identified purpose, goals and objectives for your organization's meetings? Does someone (Manager, VP of Sales, etc.) take the responsibility seriously and allocate the necessary time for planning each meeting? Is an agenda created? If so, is it shared?
- Scheduling: are meetings held on a regular basis... either weekly or bi-weekly? Are meetings held on the same day and at the same time each week or every two weeks? Are your team or sales meetings conducted at least twice per month? Is attendance considered mandatory?
- Value: Are meetings run out of "habit" versus value-added need? The best meetings must be value-added for both management and the team, so protocols for exchanging relevant information must be incorporated in each agenda; each meeting should include an educational component that is based on the organization's current situation, and that educates both management and the team on issues that are pertinent to each.
- Measurement: do you measure the effectiveness of each meeting? Are action items from one meeting a component of the next meeting's agenda? If so, is there consistent follow-through in between meetings? Are sales people or team members held accountable? Does management hold themselves accountable?
- Continuous Improvement: how can you make your organization's meetings better? How can you leverage the time spent in preparation and execution to enhance your competitive edge?
If you're wondering "what's in it for you" or how you might maximize your ROI as a member of management, here are a few thoughts:
- Assessment: a key opportunity to assess the team all at once, and identify the best opportunities for leveraging their collective effort.
- Team building: we can't build team spirit if we don't regularly "assemble" the team.
- Team motivation: many people will go the extra mile for the team; but we can't leverage team motivation if we only interact with the people on an individual basis.
- Thought leadership: driving a high-performance culture begins with helping people focus on the right things, and publicly identifying / reaffirming core values.
- Education: as stated above, every meeting should have an educational component that is based on the status of your organization and relevant issues of the day; and let's not forget that "the wisdom is often in the room." Sharing value-added information and best practices in a public forum not only provides highly-credible education, but also allows successful team members an opportunity to shine in front of their peers.
And speaking of education... most professionals have had no real training in devising and managing an effective meeting. In fact, studies show most professionals don't recognize the enormous impact their meetings have on their organizations and their careers!
As a start, to consistently run the best meetings or teleconferences you must focus on four key elements: design, planning, process and follow-through.
You can read more about each of these elements in our weekly blog.
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A Few Quick Seconds...
Here are a couple of related articles from past issues you might have missed, and which generated especially positive feedback:
Performance Management, An Everyday Job
A strategically balanced performance management plan is a key component of effective team management. The most successful approach not only enables managers to identify opportunities for team improvement, but also identify preemptive action steps that can impact future …
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Business Meetings That Work
In their book How to Communicate, the authors present great insight into group meetings and the dynamics of communication. They define a business meeting as being a task-oriented activity where group problems take precedence over individual needs. Aditionally, the best meetings are the ones where…
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