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The cost of bad meetings

Average reading time – 2 minutes

The quality of what your team, department or business produces is a direct reflection of the briefings and meetings that you personally deliver.

Those that you lead will look at what you do in order to understand what good looks like and what is considered important. Through our actions and behaviours, both consciously and unconsciously, we are creating the culture within our team or organisation that ultimately drives performance.

How we prepare for and behave in meetings is no different.

Poor meetings, lacking in clarity and focus, with little attention to time-keeping, always translate into projects being delivered late, and falling below the required standard.

All too predictably, the first things to get dropped when teams are busy or under pressure are team meetings and briefings. Whilst this is a common stress response, it is totally counter-productive.

The best teams in the world do the exact opposite.

They don’t just maintain their standard meeting schedule when under pressure. They actively increase it.

This ensures that everyone has the most up to date, mission-critical information. It means people are totally clear on the priorities and are ready, willing and able to support their colleagues as and when required.

The main difference between great teams and average teams is simply this:

“Great teams focus on doing the basics brilliantly well with ruthless consistency. Day in, day out.”

Ben Morton

Team meetings and briefings are one of the mission-critical basics for any team.

Imagine ten people have a meeting for one hour and the average salary of those attending is £55,000. That meeting will cost around £400.

Now consider the fact that many organisations require a manager to sign-off expenditure or personal expenses in excess of £300, yet we allow anyone to call a meeting! Crazy, right?

Bad meetings destroy productivity.

An appropriate number of great meetings, at the right time, accelerates performance exponentially.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that we instigate an approval process for holding a meeting.

What I am suggesting however, is that we focus back on doing the basics brilliantly well. I’m also suggesting that as with every other aspect of leadership, we must lead by example.

When we focus on leading great meetings, there is less time wasted and less frustration. As a result, we have more time and energy to do the work that really matters and to fulfil our true potential as individuals and as a team.

If we lead brilliant meetings ourselves, this serves as a statement of intent. It says to everyone else in the organisation that how we prepare for and behave in meetings, matters.  What we do lays down the marker as the minimum acceptable standard.

If you’re ready to become the leader of a great team that executes the basics brilliantly well, then download my Weekly Planning Protocol toolkit for free here.


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