Your employees are complaining that they can never get their work done due to the constant scheduling of meetings. You know how they feel because you are also suffering from meeting overload.

Are these meetings truly necessary? Could they manage without you?

Many firms are starting to acknowledge that meetings are not always the best use of time.


1. WHO
• Respect people’s time.
• More is not always better.
• If you’re invited, decide if you really need to be there. Can you delegate to someone?
• The more people in the room, the longer the meeting is likely to take.
• Decide on the key players and limit the meeting to the people that really matter.

• Send an agenda ahead of time.
• Assign time-frames to each agenda item to keep the group on task.
This also makes it easier for the person running the meeting to reign in someone going off track.
• Information needed to make decisions should be distributed in advance with the agenda.

• Select a convenient location.
• Consider holding a stand-up meeting. Sit down meetings are about a third longer than stand-up meetings.
• Why not have a walking meeting? This is an option preferred by Richard Branson, and Mark Zuckerberg.
• Should you have a video conference? If you do, try to have attendees In a conference room rather than at their desk.
This reduces the temptation to multi-task (because most of us are checking email when we have conference calls!)

4. WHY
There are three main reasons why you should hold a meeting.  They are:
• To give or get information.
I don't mean the kind of information that is just as easily distributed in an email.
I’m thinking about details that might be sensitive in nature (like a restructuring, layoffs, etc.)
• To discuss options, make decisions, or brainstorm.
• To build relationships.

• Avoid creating a crisis by meeting too late in a process.
• Respect participants’ time.
• Check availability of key players before scheduling.
• Start and end on time. ALWAYS.
Did I miss anything?

Author's Bio: 

Hi, I'm Sharon Danzger and I founded Control Chaos in 2006. As a productivity consultant, I provide group training and individual coaching.

My diverse background in financial services, non-profits, and small business enables me to offer a unique perspective on finding efficiency and balance. I tailor my approach to be industry specific and culturally focused based on my actual work and client experience.

I spent the early part of my career in financial services working for The Prudential Insurance Company of America. I spent time in a variety of areas including commercial real estate, underwriting, corporate social responsibility, and group insurance.

My work with non-profits has ranged from leadership development, governance, and training to financial analysis and oversight of an $18 MM budget.

I hold a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Real Estate from New York University. I am also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).

I have earned a Certificate of Study in Chronic Disorganization from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). Recently I completed Monash University's "Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance," University of Virginia Darden School's "Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management," University of Pennsylvania Wharton School's "Contagious," and University of Michigan's "Inspiring and Motivating Individuals." I am a lifelong learner and am always looking for ways to learn and grow.