I believe I caught your attention!
No, you will not find any naughty pictures here, but if you are interested about how meetings should be more like mini-skirts, stay tuned! A couple of days ago I was listening to a Ted talk about communication and this quote came along. Obviously it caught my attention, boys will be boys and all. The presenter continued: "Meetings should be like mini-skirts, long enough to cover the subject and short enough to grab my attention."
I was sold.
The story continues:
Yesterday my girlfriend told me she had a meeting with a colleague which lasted 2 hours. Yes, you heard me right, a 2 hour meeting. 120 minutes of talking. 2 people. As she works parttime this made up 40% of her day.
You're probably thinking: "They must have got a lot done!" Not really. So what did they talk about for this long? "Lot's of stuff!" This kind of meeting does not resemble a mini-skirt. It's not short enough to keep it interesting and it is way too long because it covers the subject multiple times and in many layers.
Allow me to talk you through a proper workflow to make sure you reach that mini-skirt, it really is as simple as it looks. As soon as you create a habits out of it, you will start reaping the benefits:
1. Set the goal
Before the meeting, decide on the outcome. By starting with the end in mind you think about what would make the upcoming meeting succesfull. Examples could be: Make a decision about an ongoing problem / come up with 5 ideas improving client relations / create alignment about a project.
2. Set the agenda
Usually you discuss multiple topics during a meeting, especially if it's a one-on-one. Make sure you create an agenda and share it in advance. Do you know that big empty white box below the time, date and invitees when you create a meeting ?
3. Set the goal again
The meeting begins. The first think you need to cross off your checklist is stating the goal. Make sure everyone attending knows why they're there and create alignment. This also makes sure they understand why you ask everyone to get back on topic without being rude.
4. Wrap up
This is your summary. What was decided? Who is going to do what and when are they doing it? This is highly important because you might have assigned a task to someone who wasn't paying attention in the first place. Yes, that happens.
Next time a meeting invite pops up in your inbox. Stop and think. Is the goal clear? Is the agenda clear? Can I contribute? Go ahead, accept. If not, it really is okay to ask for further info or just decline. Keep in mind the cost of having a meeting for the company and for yourself: Time x Hourly wage x Number of people joining. This doesn't include the missed productivity of all those people they would have done if they weren't in the meeting!
Don't waste time and money: Meetings should be like mini-skirts!
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