Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

Three Ways to Keep Your Meetings From Leaking

ARCHIVES
mtsyri/Shutterstock.com

So, let me begin by explaining what I’m not talking about in the title of this post. I’m not talking about plugging leaks of confidential information. What I am talking about is the leakage of productivity that too often occurs in meetings.

With 15 years of management experience and 12 years of executive coaching in my rear view mirror, I have no idea how many meetings I’ve been in. It’s definitely one of those, “wish I had a dollar for” situations. It’s been a whole lot of meetings. Unfortunately, a lot of those meetings have leaked productivity like helium out of a cheap balloon.

No doubt, you know what it looks like because you’ve sat through (or, heaven forbid, have led) meetings that leak. You know them when you see them because a lot of people are sitting around not really contributing. The conversation meanders from one topic to the next. No one is really sure what happened or what the next steps are when the meeting ends.

Here are three ideas to keep your meetings from leaking. My goal is to get the conversation started here. Please contribute by leaving your best idea to prevent meeting leakage in the comments.

Keep it focused – If you’re running the meeting, you have to know what you want to accomplish and everyone there has to know it too. The simplest and time proven way to get all of that across is an agenda that starts with objectives. Send it out in advance and make it clear what people need to do in advance to be prepared.

Keep it short – No doubt, you’ve heard the line that work expands to fill the time allotted. Boy, is that ever true for meetings. When planning one, err on the side of not enough time rather than too much. If you have a clear agenda and objectives, you’ll make the most of it.

Keep it engaging – How many times have you been to a meeting where 20% of the people are doing 80% of the talking? If you’re organizing a meeting, be ruthless about who needs to be there and why. Don’t contribute to the leakage by inviting people who are not in a position to contribute to the desired outcome. If people know and understand why they’re there, they’re more likely to be engaged.

OK, let’s hear your voice of experience. What other tips do you have to prevent meeting leakage?

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.