Here are six simple rules for leaders to manage meetings:
1) Avoid large meetings
Large meetings waste valuable time & energy. They discourage debate. People are more guarded than open and there’s not enough time for everyone to contribute. Don’t schedule large meetings unless you are certain they provide value to everyone
2) Leave a meeting if you’re not contributing
If a meeting doesn’t require your input, value or decisions. Your presence is useless. It’s not rude to leave a meeting. But it’s rude to waste people’s time.
3) Forget the chain of command
Communicate with colleagues directly. Not through supervisors or managers. Fast communicators make fast decisions. Fast decisions = competitive advantage.
4) Be clear, not clever
Avoid nonsense words and technical jargon. It slows down communication. Don’t sound smart. Be efficient. Choose words that are concise, to the point and easy to understand.
5) Ditch frequent meetings
There’s no better way to waste everyone’s time.
Use meetings to collaborate, attack issues head-on and solve urgent problems. But once you resolve the issue, frequent meetings are no longer necessary. You can resolve most issues without a meeting. Instead of meetings send a text, an email or communicate on a discord or slack channel. Don’t interrupt your team’s workflow if it’s unnecessary.
6) Use common sense
If a company rule doesn’t make sense, contribute to progress or apply to your specific situation, avoid following the rule with your eyes closed. Don’t follow rules. Follow principles.