How Long Are Your Meetings?January 13, 2010
How long does a good meeting need to be?
Not very long, according to Anthony Tjan. In an article on the Harvard Business Review website, “The Key to Shorter, Better Meetings,” he outlined three points that should cover the purpose for every meeting:
1. To inform and bring people up to speed.
2. To seek input from people.
3. To ask for approval.
By examining how a meeting fits into these points, we can be more focused and aware of our time and goals.
I appreciate the three points, as they keep the meeting clear, focused, and open for two-way communication. Sometimes I find that not every meeting, however, needs approval, or needs input, or needs education. Different meetings can serve different purposes.
I have found something interesting, however. We seem to think meetings should last at least one hour. But I have found with good partnerships, people know the answer as to whether it will work, and what role, usually within 20 minutes. If each party knows their vision extremely well, they are able to communicate it succinctly and the meeting can be purposeful and short.
And, it’s inspiring when you are on the same page. Then get back to work to make the partnership happen, rather than speak about it!