Few meetings are efficient. Meeting management is often not skills acquired in leadership training, and many meetings are simply carried out in the same way as always, without questioning. No matter how long or short an efficient meeting is, there is always an opening, a phase characterized by idea generation, discussion or decision making, and a closing. 

There are methods to create meetings characterized by joy, involvement, and participation. Here are just one of the lists you can find online.

When it comes to meetings, many people tend to take on the tasks of planning, leading, documenting, and keeping track of practicalities, all while trying to participate in the discussion. One way of avoiding this routine is to let someone else lead the meetings. It could be someone from another department or an external facilitator. During the consulting assignments I’ve been involved in, I often hear that the discussions get more interesting, that concrete decisions are made and that the expert/manager is able to participate more actively. 

If you can increase the quality of your meetings, there won’t be as many of them, which in turn frees up time in your calendar. 

Your own reflections: Think about the best meeting you’ve ever attended. What made it so good? Try to define at least two or three things that made the meeting work so well. 

All the best

Fredrik Bauer