Most people struggle with meetings, unless they are leading them—and they think those are awesome!
The truth is that meetings are important. Without meetings, teams can move in a plethora of directions, communication gaps can grow, and execution can suffer. But weekly meetings, if not led well, can be an absolute waste of time. And this should be terrifying. When you consider the time of every person, meetings can be very expensive. So leading an ineffective staff meeting is just bad stewardship.
Here are four signs you are wasting your weekly staff meeting:
There are no action steps.
Without clear action steps and a few days behind them, people can be asked what the meeting accomplished and they will likely have no idea.
There are people there who don’t need to be there.
If there are people in a meeting who don’t contribute to the discussion and the direction, who are not the ones to ensure execution post-meeting, then their time is wasted in the meeting and open conversation is stifled. Meeting dynamic suffers when people are there just “because it is nice of us to have them there.”
There is no learning, merely reporting.
If the meeting is merely an array of reporting just to say that reports were given and there is not real learning, then the meeting is likely a waste of time. If those giving reports are doing so just to knock the report off their list, without learning and interaction, then the meeting is likely a waste of time. The information could have been distributed via email or even bundled with another meeting.
It is a monologue.
If the weekly meeting is essentially the leader offering a freely formed stream of consciousness, pontificating on an array of subjects, then the meeting is a waste. (Meetings that are designed for inspiration or information should not be weekly.) If the meeting is merely the handing down of responsibilities without interaction, then the meeting is not the best use of time. If the meeting can be accomplished in an email, then hit send and cancel the meeting.
Don’t waste your weekly staff meeting.