Do you spend hours each week in staff meetings only to leave feeling like you've wasted time?
You're probably not alone.
A recent Inc. article suggests that focusing discussion around two things — requests and promises — will drive results in meetings, but people too often focus on what could have been said via email, social networks or other conversation.
The writer, Ilan Mochari, suggests requests be as specific as possible and that promises include deadlines and detailed deliverables.
Things that can make a meeting ineffective, Mochari writes, include info sharing, sharing oneself, and debating, decision making and point proving.
Greg Marsello, LERN Vice President for Organizational Development, recommends lifelong learning and continuing education staff meetings take up no more than 10 percent of staff time. It's one of his top tips for increasing staff productivity.
"To run a successful lifelong learning program, the number of meetings and the number of hours spent in meetings needs to be reduced," Marsello says. "Meetings that do take place need to be productive and focus on solving problems and/or setting new direction."
Marsello says one way to lower the number of meetings during a year is by selecting three to five topics to work on in the coming year and focusing your time and energy on those. LERN's One-Year Market Plan model helps you select the most important topics — the ones that will benefit the organization and its customers the most.
Many lifelong learning programs have too many topics each year and thus more meetings and less successful implementation.
Marsello also suggests teams use virtual offices to communicate what you have done or are doing to limit time spent discussing these things during meetings.
Marsello leads the Operations and Staffing Institute, which is part of the 2014 LERN Institutes, April 7-10 in New Orleans, where he will share even more tips and techniques for improving staff productivity and matching up staff with LERN best practice benchmarks, as well as the top techniques for reducing time spent in staff meetings.