Five Signs You Are Wasting Time In Meetings

Meetings take up a significant amount of time in the average workweek, pulling professionals in many different directions. According to research from Korn Ferry, most workers (67 percent) say excessive meetings keep them from getting their best work done. Not all meetings are bad, but many of them end up being unhelpful or unnecessary.

Is it time to reflect on the meetings you hold with your sales team? Leadership speaker Julie Winkle Giulioni says absolutely yes if you want to make the best use of everyone’s time and talents. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss Giulioni’s tips for addressing potential meeting problems to improve the quality of both virtual and in-person meetings.

1. Your meeting does not have a clear purpose or agenda. Do you know why you called your last few meetings? What kind of tangible outcome did you achieve? If you struggle to answer these questions, you are not alone. Many leaders and attendees show up to meetings without really knowing why they are there. They leave without understanding next steps or with the satisfaction of closing the loop on something. Giulioni advises leaders to always share an agenda in advance. If you can’t clearly articulate why you are bringing everyone together—whether it’s in person or online—you probably do not need to hold a meeting at all.

2. Your meeting includes unnecessary attendees. “The more the merrier” does not hold true for meetings. Your sales reps are busy. Unless they are vital to the discussion, think twice about requiring the entire sales team to attend. Consider who has the information, a stake or role in the outcome, and narrow your list accordingly, suggests Giulioni.

3. Your meetings consistently start late. If you plan a 10 a.m. start for your meeting and wait to get started until 10:06 to give stragglers a chance to filter in, you are not respecting anyone’s time. Giulioni says that how a leader treats other people’s time sends a powerful signal of respect and value. Whether your team members are logging in remotely or attending your meeting in the office, they have a lot going on. Beginning on time shows that you respect their efforts and shows others that timeliness is an expectation. Remember to stay firm on your end time, as well.

4. Your meetings lack engagement. Most leaders call meetings to get status updates or to share information. Oftentimes, though, you can get the information you need through other channels, such as email or Slack.

5. Your meetings do not provide next steps. How many times have you attended a meeting and then gone back to work with no significant takeaways? It happens often. To make the most of any meeting, make sure you summarize action steps and ensure your team members know what to do next. With clear follow-up actions, you will provide a sense of progress and momentum, notes Giulioni.

Considering the amount of time you probably invest in meetings, you should ensure they are serving you and your team well. Make sure you establish an agenda ahead of time and remain selective with your invite list. Remember that not every person on your sales team needs to be included in every meeting. Also, stay mindful of your start and end times and declare action steps before you meet again.

By pausing to consider potential problem areas, you open the door to more productive, energy-packed meetings that deliver more powerful results.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Julie Winkle Giulioni works with organizations worldwide to improve performance through leadership and learning. Named one of Inc. Magazine's top 100 leadership speakers, Giulioni is the co-author of the Amazon and Washington Post bestseller Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want.

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