I have to be honest- I despise most meetings. Now don't get me wrong, some meetings are important and needed. I love brainstorming and creative meetings when there is lots of energy and ideas being thrown out. I like meetings where ideas are being moved to completion. I like meetings where we are solving problems and coming up with solutions. But meeting for meetings sake is unproductive, demoralizing and a waste of time. Too many organizations and churches build their "get it done" culture around the go to answer "let's meet about it." A meeting becomes the default for everything.
Here are a few thoughts on meetings:
1. Always try your best NOT to meet vs always looking for an excuse TO meet.
2. If you can solve an issue or figure out a solution or agree through email or a quick 30 second in person conversation or phone call, don't schedule a meeting.
3. Most meetings, ultimately, should instead be quick stand up conversations for no more than 5 minutes. Get to the point, make a decision, and move on.
4. Many "managers" plan meetings so they'll actually have something to do and can justify their existence. This is not great management.
5. You DO need to meet on a regular basis with your team or staff and connect, cast vision, laugh, etc. More for creating culture than anything else.
6. Instead of a culture that defaults to "let's meet about it," build a culture that thinks "let's go make it happen." When in doubt, don't meet. Just go make it happen. Execute. Take the project to the finish line. "Ship it" as Seth Godin says.
7. Meetings must lead to action. Always. If at all possible, don't schedule a meeting, again unless it is really needed and leads to action.
8. If a meeting is required, LESS participants (as a general rule) is better and more strategic than MORE participants. More than 5 people in a meeting trying to get something done bogs down the process.
9. Always ask following a meeting: "Did we accomplish anything? Or just create more work and more bureaucracy?" Consistently measure the value of each meeting, and get rid of it if you're not accomplishing anything.