What's our next action?
As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time in meetings (I bet you do, too!). If the meeting has to do with a specific project (e.g., a system selection or implementation project), there are two rules I try to adhere to as much as humanly possible:
- Anything that can be communicated by written word (we used to call them "memos") does not need to be covered in a meeting. Answering questions about points made in the memo is fine, but simply re-reading the actual memo itself is redundant and a waste of time.
- Every meeting should end with an answer to "What are our next steps?" The riskiest thing you can do is leave a meeting without everyone knowing (and agreeing to!) what is going to happen next. Even if the next step is "We're waiting on X to provide Y" it's better to state that clearly (in case X was unaware you were waiting on them!) than to assume everyone knows.
In the age of Zoom meetings, both of these rules are particularly important. Keeping meetings focused will make everyone's life more tolerable and all our meetings more productive.