Meetings and How to Do Them Right

Bestselling authors Mike Song, Tim Burress, and Vicki Halsey outline five ways to cut through the clutter to create shorter, more effective meetings using P.O.S.E.:

The key to reducing meeting time is to P.O.S.E. the right questions before accepting an invitation to an optional meeting:

1. Priority vs. Availability: Rather than check availability first when presented with a meeting invite – check your priorities and goals. Is this really where you need to be spending your time?

2.Objenda: Know the objective and agenda (we refer to this as an Objenda) of the meeting before accepting. Once the purpose and structure of the meeting is clear, you may realize that you no longer need to attend. If you blindly accept a topic as your only criteria for attending – you’ll be sitting in a lot of dead-end meetings. You’ll be better prepared and more productive when you have an objenda for every meeting you attend.

3.Shorten: Many meetings are scheduled for an hour because e-calendar tools like Outlook have presets for one hour. If you only need 40 minutes, override the presets and have a shorter meeting. Never schedule 60 minute meetings, always schedule 50 minute meetings. You’ll cut total meeting time and build transition time in so you won’t be late for the next one. Asking “can we cover this in 20 minutes instead of 60" is a great question.

4.E-Vailability: Sometimes we think we’re available but we’re not. Make sure your e-calendar reflects your true availability -- we call this e-vailability. Schedule me-time into your calendar to signify to yourself and others that you are booked at certain times. You’ll meet less and get more done when you’ve blocked out time for essential projects. Use me time to prep for important presentations, complete complex projects, or sort out a bloated inbox.

What do you think? Helpful? Not helpful? Ideas? Suggestions?


Nancy White said...

These seem like useful "meeting defense" strategies. What are some deeper, strategic moves that address what we need to do together and how we do it?

Katharine Halpin, MCC said...

I think these tips are fabulous and align nicely with practices I developed over 20 years ago and use daily with my executive coaching clients. I would emphasize the 'me-time' getting booked. If that doesn't happen, you quickly lose your ability to be strategic and have good boundaries. I also push my clients to start their meetings with time for 'personal updates' and acknolwedgments to celebrate successes. If we spend 3-5 minutes at the beginning we strenghten our connections. With stronger personal connections, the business issues get resolved in a win/win manner easily.

Unknown said...

I was eager to read this list, but was disappointed - #1 and #4 simply advise being choosier about which meetings to attend, #2 advises declining unless you know the "objenda," and #3says "shorten," but doesn't say how. I recently attended a meeting with an important agenda, but the convener did nothing to control it, so we did not get to half the items. Basic timekeeping would have helped - e.g., the "updates from attendees" should have been limited to 1-2 minutes person, not open-ended.