“It could have been an email.”
These six words can take the breath of an office. This means that time has been lost, employees are frustrated, and leadership has been slightly undermined.
Unjustified meetings are inefficient and difficult. Randomly put time on coworkers’ calendars – only to fumble with his goal, drive him without direction, or spend all your time talking at participants instead of collaborating with them – takes a toll on everyone involved.
Here, we’ll go over some criteria you should look for when deciding if a meeting is worth everyone’s time, see some definitive signs that a problem doesn’t warrant a meeting, and go over some of the most popular meeting alternatives. most important and effective.
When should you hold a meeting
The question under consideration is urgent and urgent.
If the information you need to provide is essential and time-limited, don’t hesitate to book a meeting. You don’t want to run the risk of sending a mass email about an urgent issue, only so that some employees will ignore it or ignore it altogether.
There are things that need to be known and cannot wait, and your response to those instances should reflect this type of urgency. Don’t be too passive. Don’t rely on your team members to access information at their own pace. Book a meeting and pass those points.
You need a space for in-depth discussion and multiple perspectives.
Some issues require a certain degree of collaboration and thought. These kinds of brainstorming sessions and general discussions justify real meetings. It’s hard to replicate the spur of the moment and the flexibility your team has to get a feel for each other through mediums like instant messages or email.
Collaborative meetings foster creativity and critical thinking. If you feel like you need your team to immediately think about it on the fly and poke fun at ideas in person, booking a meeting is probably your best bet.
Decision making is at stake.
When the content of a potential meeting presents high stakes – as in “involving decisions which have important implications for the future of the company” – you have to bring everyone together.
You cannot take these situations lightly. In these cases, stakeholders need to know what is going on and have a forum to voice their concerns and provide input. A chain of emails, bulletin boards, or pre-recorded video presentations will not provide this.
When you don’t need a meeting
You don’t have a definitive agenda.
One of the biggest meeting mistakes you can make is going without a plan. Never attend a meeting. Going in and trying to figure things out as you go is frustrating and obnoxious to your team members – it’s an unproductive waste of time.
If you don’t prepare an agenda, you also weaken your ability to determine whether the issue in question really warrants a meeting in the first place. When you take the time to organize your thoughts, concerns, and documents, you give yourself a chance to see the situation in a more objective light.
With that kind of clarity and perspective, you can more thoughtfully determine whether the information you need to convey is better suited for a mass email, instant messaging channel, or other less time consuming format and of energy.
You don’t have all of your information together.
This point joins the one above. If you’re not fully prepared, or if the information you’ve gathered so far presents an incomplete picture of the current situation, you’d better not book a meeting.
The most effective meetings are thorough, thoughtful, and provide practical advice. If you only have the big picture, you probably won’t be able to definitely put your team on the right track – and you won’t be able to get that moment with everyone booked.
If you have a few available information that your team should know. You might be better off reaching them on a less personal, longer medium and letting them know that you will have more information to offer soon.
The meeting is going to involve too many people.
If you find that your list of potential meeting attendees seems excessive, you may want to explore other options to obtain the information in question. Large meetings are often unproductive and usually involve a good number of people who do not Actually need to be there.
If the meeting is going to be packed, you probably won’t see a lot of thoughtful and organized discussions. Moreover, if as much people need to know what to say, this is probably more of a one-sided announcement than an issue that lends itself to focused collaboration. In most cases, this type of content is generally better suited for emails.
- Video presentations
- Instant messaging
- Wikis and FAQ pages
Email could be the most important alternative to meetings. It’s a great resource for announcements and less urgent, more general internal communication – information that doesn’t necessarily require an immediate response. It allows you to easily get your point across while giving you the ability to ask individual questions and thoughtful collaboration.
2. Video presentations
Pre-recorded video presentations can be a great way to convey information in a thorough and thoughtful way without bringing the team together. Resources like Loom allow you to conduct demos, record messages, and offer updates for your team members to watch on their own, reducing friction and saving time that a large-scale meeting could waste .
3. Instant messaging
Instant messaging is one of the best ways to replicate some of the more immediate and impulsive aspects of a collaborative meeting. With these types of programs, you can receive quick responses from team members in real time. The format is best suited for quick questions and conversations that aren’t necessarily important enough to warrant large-scale meetings.
4. Wikis and FAQ pages
Wikis and FAQ pages provide materials that answer common questions and concerns your team members might encounter. These mediums are also effective in the long run. By validating information on a web page, you can provide your team with a permanent point of reference for concerns and avoid unnecessary meetings, down the line.
Quiz: Do you really need this meeting?
Meetings should be booked carefully and with intent. Your coworkers cannot make this time back, so you need to know that you will be productive every time you meet them.
If you plan to set aside time with your team, be sure to consider the points on this list. You don’t want to deal with the moans and eye rolls that come with a meeting that “could have been an email.”