By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out all of the remote meeting tricks. How to play video games while you’re looking at your computer. To browse Reddit while nodding in consensus. Only having to wear a nice shirt while you lounge in your underwear.
And I get it. We’re trying to conduct business in the thrust of a global pandemic, and we’re just translating the same, boring meetings from the office to our video conference rooms. But does it make sense to continue these terrible meetings that erode trust in your organization and in leadership?
It’s not business as usual right now, so let’s take advantage of that to make our work days better for our businesses and the people involved. During this shake-up of the modern world, have you and your colleagues taken a moment to consider how you can make the most of your day-to-day rituals, like meetings, in this new normal?
The Actual Costs of Meetings
According to Atlassian, there’s a salary cost of $37 billion dollars in meetings wasted annually for all US businesses. Forty-seven percent of the average meeting-goer thinks they’re a waste of time, 73% do other work while in the meeting, and 39% have actually slept in a meeting. Frankly, these are terrible statistics, but I don’t blame the meeting-goers, as I’ve done those exact same things before as well.
Think about the last meeting you attended. Did the facilitator include and engage everyone in attendance? What incentive was given to pay attention or participate? Was the meeting fun? Were people excited to be there?
If a meeting game plan is to talk at people for an hour or more while flipping through slides that have essays written on each slide, don’t be surprised if the meeting participants are watching YouTube videos at the same time.
When all we’ve ever seen are boring meetings, the inertia of doing what’s been done before is incredibly high. Think of all of the meetings you went to that were just like the ones you’re in now while working remotely. If you’ve never seen how fun, joyous, and inclusive meetings can be, how would you ever know how to run a meeting like that?
Does This Really Need To Be a Meeting? (Use the FREE webtool to find out!)
So how can we make better meetings? The first step is getting really honest with ourselves and figuring out if we even need to have a meeting in the first place. Let’s pause and ask “what are meetings for?” We can choose to stop doing it just because “that’s what we’ve always done.”
Here at Spotlight Trust, we’ve built a handy little webtool so you can figure out if this really needs to be a meeting or not. Just answer the questions, and we’ll let you know if you should be holding a meeting, or be doing something else that would make everyone happier.
That said, if you do need to hold a meeting, please think about the design of it. There’s a lot you can do, even when you’re completely remote, to make meetings more engaging, more effective, and something people actually look forward to. Whether it’s small ice breakers, making sure everyone has a chance to participate, or just improving your presentation, there are many practical skills you can develop that will make you a meeting master.
And don’t forget to bookmark the “Does This Really Need To Be a Meeting” webtool and feel free to share it with others – the more people that reconsider unnecessary meetings, the better off we’ll all be.
So please, let’s stop this madness of terrible, boring, useless meetings. We’ve got the opportunity to change the way our organizations do work – use this chance to lead a culture shift to eliminate terrible meetings that will make the world a more trusted, happier place for all of us.