Monday, 16 september 2019 | Redacción CEU
They help us to consolidate strategies, to make right decisions, to get projects off the ground or to carry out their right follow-up. Work meetings enable us to grow and move forward, but sometimes they can also delay and limit us. Together with the distractions caused by the use of social platforms, the daily checking of unnecessary emails and the repetition of tedious processes that could be solved in half the time, these meetings may be one of the activities that makes us waste more time at work; especially when they have not been well organized. How to take control over this situation? What mistakes should we avoid when setting up work meetings? What do we need to take into account for these meetings to be more productive?
Robert Half International’s study, which is included in El Arte de la Comunicación, is one of the most quoted analysis when it comes to this topic. According to it, 28% of work meetings are unnecessary, unproductive and non-properly prepared. These are factors that contribute to hindering daily work and reducing labor productivity. Taking into account that we spend a large part of our working life gathered or collaborating with other professionals, it is essential that we ask ourselves if we are attending the appropriate meetings or organizing them in a timely manner.
What makes a meeting be inappropriate?
When the percentage of ineffective meetings happens to be high, it is largely due to the fact that we repeat wrong patterns time and again. Although it might seem contradictory, one of them is constancy. Organizing meetings based on an unwavering commitment to periodicity might be counterproductive. This does not mean that meetings are not incredibly valuable to carry out useful activities such as monitoring key issues. Nonetheless, professionals and organizations must show flexibility, by adapting to new dynamics and the changes that their environment experiences. In other words, a startup may need to set up daily meetings at the beginning of its adventure, but over time these appointments should become less and less frequent. On the other hand, a solid company may forget how beneficial could be giving voice to its employees and scheduling periodic meetings where these professionals can share their ideas and doubts.
Observing the behavior of the participants is a good way to check the quality standard of meetings. When there is disorder, those summoned might not show any predisposition to collaborate and the general mood is negative, and it is very likely that these factors respond to a wrong approach. If this is the case, apart from reviewing the periodicity of the meetings, the organizers should also ask themselves: What is the purpose of these appointments? If they have to think about the answer or this one is not clear, there is a problem. In fact, this is another of the most common mistakes. Meetings must always have a well-defined purpose and should only be set when they are necessary.