Meetings are an essential part of any company with more than a few people. They help us communicate so everyone’s on the same page, brainstorm new ideas, plan ahead and a whole host of other things that are great for business. However, if we aren’t careful they can also be an enormous waste of time and energy, two resources many radio personnel are short on lately. We’ve all sat in on some truly terrible meetings in our careers. I’ve even resorted to making sure I schedule a meeting directly after one I know is going to be a beating so I have an excuse to bow out if it goes long, which always works because the only thing more important than a meeting is another meeting. But, meetings don’t have to be awful. Here are a few tips to fix bad meetings.
- Every meeting should have a point person. The reason many meetings go off course is because no one is steering the ship. Somebody has to run point and it doesn’t necessarily have to default to the person with the biggest title in the room. It should generally be the person in charge of whatever that meeting covers, provided they have both a good knowledge of the subject at hand and the experience and aptitude for leading a meeting.
- All meetings need an agenda. Without a meeting agenda they usually devolve into free form brainstorming sessions where everyone throws out tons of ideas, some of which might be great, but few of which will actually be executed. Even a meeting where coming up with new ideas is the goal should have a basic structure to create the best environment for strategic brainstorming to take place.
- Keep it as small as possible. There should be a reason why everyone who’s in the meeting is in the meeting. It sounds good in theory to have all hands on deck to crowdsource ideas and get as many minds weighing in as possible, but 90% of the time those meetings will quickly get away from us and end up wasting considerably more of the company’s time. It’s kind of like the in-person version of reply all emails (that shouldn’t be reply all emails) causing everyone to chime in and exasperate the problem instead of solving it.
- Set a start time and end time and stick to them. Loose meetings create loose stations, if we don’t value each other’s time we’re unlikely to value the listeners’ or our clients’ time. Most weekly meetings can be knocked out in thirty minutes or less, longer for monthly and quarterly meetings, but either way they should have a set start/end time for people to schedule around.
- Have a main goal for what we should walk away from the meeting with. If there isn’t a goal for having a particular meeting than we shouldn’t have that meeting. That burden should fall on the meetings point person and be reinforced by management.
Overall, dis-functional meetings are sometimes the result of dis-functional companies with deeper structural issues to figure out. One sign of that is abandoning meetings all-together because they’re rarely productive. I know we’re not curing diseases or defending a nation or anything, but that doesn’t mean our time shouldn’t be spent wisely and productively while at work. Addressing some of our issues with meetings themselves can help course correct and set us on a path to be more strategic and purposeful with every decision our company and staffs make.
What do you think? Comment below or email me at Andy@RadioStationConsultant.com.
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