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Meetings are an integral part of business life. Whether you’re having difficulty coming up with an action plan, aren’t sure what to do on a project, or want to bounce ideas off of your teammates, scheduling meetings is the default response in most business situations.
Holding a meeting can be the right decision in some cases, but not all. The following are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to schedule a meeting.
If you aren’t clear about what you’re doing for a project, you might feel like you want to schedule a meeting with the stakeholders involved to gain clarity. This has the potential to waste your time and that of your colleagues, however. Instead, take some time out to do strategic thinking and evaluate the scope of the project.
Think about the current status of the project and important milestones, and then come up with a plan of action for achieving your project goals. Once you’ve done your own preparation, you can determine whether or not you still need to hold a meeting with your teammates.
You might be able to get the information you need by talking directly to key employees rather than holding a meeting. Determine whether you can accomplish what’s needed without requiring a group of people to attend yet another meeting.
If you finally do decide to call a meeting, make sure you clearly define the purpose of the meeting, the objectives that you need to accomplish, the length of the meeting, and the people you need to invite.
If you need to get feedback or answers to questions before you feel like you are able to move forward with a project, then by all means schedule a meeting. If you already know what needs to be done, however, then work through your to-do list and start taking action.
If you have some questions that you need answers to, but they don’t require a two-way conversation, you could just use email to ask questions. This is especially true if you need people to review documents or written plans. This gives them to time review the documents on their own and then send feedback to you at their convenience.
If you need to have a discussion in real-time, the next consideration is whether you have to do it face-to-face or not. Some alternatives to an in-person meeting that allow for two-way communication in real-time include chat, videoconferencing, and phone calls.
Ultimately, you may determine that a face-to-face meeting is ideal. If that is the case, be sure to plan out the agenda of the meeting carefully and invite the right attendees to make the meeting as effective and efficient as possible. Your meeting agenda should lay out the following:
Year over year, employees are spending an increasing amount of time in meeting rooms, and much of this time is wasted in pointless, unnecessary meetings. Help stop the meeting madness with proper planning and by carefully considering whether or not you actually need to hold a meeting to achieve your objectives and make progress on a project.
To maximize efficiency and productivity when planning and scheduling meetings, consider using Resource Central, a meeting room booking system for Microsoft Outlook® and Exchange. Contact us today to schedule a free trial or free online demo of Resource Central.