Photo by aussigall








 Even with an agenda, do your meetings and calls feel rushed and leave intended work undone–for yet another meeting? It seems to me that the time allotted for meetings is getting shorter and the agendas are getting longer. We are trying to jam too much into the time available.

If you are like me, the experience is one of feeling rushed and frustrated. I start the meeting knowing that there is too much on our plate.  And, then I am frustrated and anxious when what I already knew comes true. In most cases (unlike you), I have some command of the agenda. So why do I set myself up? My quick answer is that I am generally optimistic about what can be done and accomodating to my clients’ time demands.

So, I began thinking. If I consider each meeting as a remarkable result, how would I operate?

  1. Start with the intended outcome. What decision, collaboration, communication is intended–for each agenda item? Be cautious
    about inserting “update” items, opting for written updates or short, sharp reports.
  2. Allot a generous amount of time for each item. Consider participants’ current state of understanding or agreement.
  3. Prioritize agenda items and place in order of importance (no-brainer that is often not followed).
  4. Add any additional potential items in a holding place, just in case there is a miracle of extra time.
  5. Intend to complete a 30-minute meeting in 25 minutes and a one-hour meeting in 50-minutes. Why do we seem to
    ignore the reality that people need time to move on?

The most important over-arching commitment is to spend the right kind of time on the most important items.
Really have a conversation about some items, while getting to the heart of a decision when that is what is intended.

The second most important commitment is to not be a slave to the very agenda set. Sometimes the most important exchanges
occur when we allow the dialogue to unfold. I’m simply saying here that we could allow the time to have that type of
conversation more intentionally.

And, I am not just think about formal business meetings. These ideas seem to hold true to short casual meetings and
conversations for which you want a remarkable result.

What do you think? Am I the only one? Do you have any other, different ideas? Let me know by leaving a comment below.