If you had to identify, in one word,
the reason why the human race has not achieved,
and never will achieve, its full potential,
that word would be meetings.

Dave Barry

Evaluate your calendar are you one of the business executives who spend 37 percent of your time in meetings?  And do you often find many of them a total waste? Yeah, I thought that might be so.

Ask yourself, “What meetings has my presence contributed to the discussion or made a difference to the outcome?” Those are your keepers. Now, challenge yourself:

  • Think contribution. Could you have added value if you came to the meeting with ideas or spoke up more? Then, commit to becoming a key player at every meeting you attend.
  • Think expansion. Is there someone you can delegate the meeting to where it will improve their knowledge of the company and/or add needed skill sets for their future career development? That’s who should be attending—not you.
  • Think streamline. Introduce efficiencies to any meeting you attend: agendas that clearly define objectives (discussion, decision, etc.), predetermined time limits for dialogue on each item with real time stops, challenge the attendance list by verifying everyone will add value (because their time is important too) and send off-purpose topics to the “parking lot” (to be scheduled for a future meeting). These are just a few techniques that will save time.
  • Think enrollment. Broach the topic of eliminating the meeting entirely from your division’s calendar with your boss. Be bold and specific when you share your reasoning. Make sure your boss understands your intention is to gain much needed time for you and the division to work on larger, impact projects for your organization.

Enjoy eliminating this extra time from your meeting calendar and have a great season!

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