Whip Your Meetings Into Shape: 4 Tips for Maximizing Leadership Productivity

Whip Your Meetings Into Shape: 4 Tips for Maximizing Leadership Productivity

As you can likely attest, most business meetings waste pro­ductive time and last far longer than they should. But until we learn to communicate telepathically, meetings will remain a necessary evil—not only as a means of exchanging ideas and information, but also as a way of building relation­ships with others. That doesn't mean you have to like them, but you can cer­tainly make them more tolerable by applying these tips: Decide If the Meeting Is Even Necessary. Can you handle the issue with a few emails or a conference call? If so, do it. Why call a full meeting if you don't need one? Start On Time. If people don't arrive on time, tough. Start when you agreed to, and don't start over just because individuals arrive late. Latecomers can check the minutes later to find out what you … [Read more...]

Impromptu Meetings: Cutting Down on Drop-Ins and Got-a-Minutes

Impromptu Meetings: Cutting Down on Drop-Ins and Got-a-Minutes by Laura Stack #productivity

"I wonder if you've got a minute." "I have many minutes, all of them used toward a common purpose." – Jodi Picoult, American novelist; quoted in Plain Truth. Here is the roundup of activity from Laura Stack’s blog, columns, podcast, and other featured articles. Scroll down to read the complete roundup of productivity resources to help you create Maximum Results in Minimum Time. This week on the Blog Impromptu Meetings: Cutting Down on Drop-Ins and Got-a-Minutes There's a statistic going around the business world that claims that something interrupts or distracts the average office worker every three minutes. Many people find their time nibbled away by otherwise well-meaning co-workers, who drop in unannounced at our cubicles or stop us in the hall to ask, "Got a min … [Read more...]

Stand-Up Guys: The Virtues of Standing Meetings

Stand-Up Guys: The Virtues of Standing Meetings by Laura Stack

"One of my favourite tricks is to conduct most of my meetings standing up. I find it to be a much quicker way of getting down to business, making a decision and sealing the deal." ― Sir Richard Branson, British businessman Here is the bi-weekly roundup of activity from Laura Stack’s blog, columns, podcast, and other featured articles. Scroll down to read the complete roundup of productivity resources to help you create Maximum Results in Minimum Time. This week on the Blog Stand-Up Guys: The Virtues of Standing Meetings In the white-collar world, sitting down all day is both a blessing and a curse. Sitting makes it a lot easier to focus our intellects, since we're basically in a resting but erect position; this also allows us to work interrupted for longer periods of time. But there can … [Read more...]

No More Mediocrity: Making Meetings More Effective and Enjoyable

No More Mediocrity: Making Meetings More Effective and Enjoyable by Laura Stack #productivity

"Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything." -- John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-American economist. As we can all attest, business meetings often waste valuable productive time and tend to last far longer than they should. But until we learn to communicate telepathically, they will remain a necessary evil—not just as a means of exchanging ideas and information—but also as a way to build relationships with others. That doesn't mean we have to like them. In fact, as economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell once quipped, "People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything." Whether he meant it facetiously or not, there's a grain of truth in Sowell's statement, since someone who enjoys meetings might actually prolong them and anything else they laid the … [Read more...]

The Sweet Spot: How and When to Schedule Productive Meetings

"If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings.'." -- Dave Barry, American humorist. "Maybe meetings have become a life-form capable of calling themselves and reproducing via human hosts." -- Scott Adams, American cartoonist (Dilbert). Nowhere in the business arena does the absolutely necessary collide with the potentially wasteful more often than in meetings. Few terms have given American workers more reason to shudder, with the possible exception of "downsizing"—and at least that's over quickly. All kidding aside, meetings remain more necessary than not. While you can diminish their frequency by taking advantage of technology and informal chats, you can't eliminate them e … [Read more...]

Do We Really Need 32 People at This Meeting?

"People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything." -- Thomas Sowell, American economist and social theorist. "Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings." ― George Will, American journalist. Meetings may just be the bane of our workplace existence. I don't mean events like professional conferences; those generally represent valuable educational experiences. No, I refer to those self-proliferating time-wasters that bring co-workers together to discuss ways to maximize team productivity, but instead accomplish the exact opposite. They seem to expand as time goes by; and when everyone has to have their say, they can drag on for hours, killing productive momentum. Yet meetings remain absolutely necessary if o … [Read more...]

Finding More Time to “Do” Leadership

"Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes." —Peter Drucker As a leader, you know how valuable it can be when you consistently, thoughtfully apply good, old-fashioned “leadership.” And yet at one time or another, nearly all of us have looked up to discover that we've let true leadership go by the wayside in the workaday hustle of just getting by. It’s far too easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of the operational piece of your job; in fact, your greatest occupational hazard as a leader is forgetting you manage people, not paperwork. If you find yourself too busy to do your “real” job—or at least inexorably drawn in that direction—then something's askew with your personal productivity. Perhaps it’s time for a tun … [Read more...]

Co-workers, meetings, and inefficiency: the big energy bandits in the workplace

The workplace is full of energy drains, even for people who work at home. You get caught up in the routine, and lo and behold, hours have passed -- and you've expended precious energy without much return. If this sounds like your work life, maybe you ought to try a few of these prescriptions. 1. Speak up when you have too much on your plate.  If you're overworked, you'll eventually hit a point where your personal energy falls to nil and nothing gets done. Do what you can to streamline your work processes, negotiate deadline extensions, simplify your tasks, and delegate in order to get things done. 2. Be unavailable. That's right. When someone says, "Do you have a minute?" it's okay to say, "Not right now." You don't have to be rude or impolite, but you do have to be honest. Get over wa … [Read more...]