Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Q: Our meetings constantly run over; we never get everything done and we gloss over the agenda. What am I doing wrong?
A: Setting unrealistic expectations for what can be accomplished in one meeting is very common. We’ve all been there; those painful meetings that drag on and on. Assuming you are the one running the meetings, then solving this problem is within your control. It all starts with creating a realistic, specific and focused agenda. You are looking for quality over quantity. Just like in sales, where it is better to under-promise and over-deliver, the same holds true for a well-run meeting. It is better to cover less content in depth and thoroughly, than trying to cram in too much and running over your allotted time.
The first question you want to ask yourself is this: If we can only answer one question as a result of this meeting, what would it be? If you are not clear about what question you are answering and why answering this question is important, then you will spin in circles, have random conversations, and an unfocused and unproductive meeting.
The next two questions you want to answer are: What do you want to walk away with as a result of this meeting? And: how will you measure the success of the meeting?
Once you have created your clear, concise, focused, time-activated agenda, you need to send it to everyone who will be attending, for both their buy-in and so they can come to the meeting fully prepared.
Lastly, it is what happens after the meeting that is the test of the effectiveness of the meeting. Are you and/or your team taking action toward what you want?