Efficiency is the name of the game at Agents of Efficiency (obviously) so we’re making it even more efficient for you to improve your business. Every week, we sort through all the boring stuff to bring you the best tips from the wide world of the web. For this week’s #2tips4tues, we examine the value of face-to-face meetings.
As your organization grows, so will the number of meetings. Adding structure to those meetings always helps. Elizabeth Grace Saunders was profiled in the Harvard Business Review to discuss the all important one-on-ones. Saunders gives excellent advice on how to structure your regular meetings with direct reports. “‘In an ideal world, you and your colleague would collaborate on an agenda ahead of time,’ says Saunders. But workday pressures and time constraints often get the better of us. A more realistic goal may be to jot down a list of bullet points that you’d like to discuss. Ask your direct report to do the same. Once you’re face to face, Saunders recommends comparing lists and doing some ‘loose timeboxing’ to make sure you have time to cover the most pressing points.”
While many take meeting protocol seriously enough to invoke Robert’s Rules of Order, you don’t always need to go so far to remain efficient. Stephanie Vozza in Fast Company writes: “Many meetings don’t have a particular agenda, but it’s important to know what you want to accomplish going in. ‘Keep meetings short by limiting the agenda to three items or less,’ says Alan Eisner, professor of management at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. ‘Afterward, send out minutes using your agenda so everyone knows what to work on.’” Make sure people keep their computers and phones away. Etiquette does have a purpose. Open laptops are becoming acceptable to “keep up” with email, but we know that’s the enemy of efficiency.