How to Design and Run Meetings That Don’t Waste Everybody’s Time

People spend a lot of time at work in meetings. And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time.

If you’re one of the majority that feels this way, this comes as no surprise. You know the feelings of frustration all too well. As well as the financial cost. If 4 people each earning $40,000 a year attend a 2 hour meeting that goes nowhere, that’s a cost of $152 of wasted time just for that meeting. Not to mention the incidental costs such as travel. Take those costs and multiply by the number of meetings you feel are a waste of time over a year and you are getting some real money. In this day and age when organizations are facing enormous budget constraints, and are looking hard at all their cost elements, improving meeting quality jumps out as a “no brainer”.

Yet there is often little analysis of why meetings fail, or what needs to happen so they succeed.

Why Meetings Fail

Here are some of the common reasons things go wrong that you can measure against your own experience.

  • Meeting leader is unprepared and tries to “wing it”
  • There’s no formal agenda
  • Everyone disagrees on the meeting’s subject
  • The expected desired results are not defined
  • People critical to meeting’s success:
    • Don’t Show Up
    • Weren’t Invited
    • Come late or leave early
  • Participants don’t understand their roles
  • Unfocussed discussion
  • Results are not accurately recorded.
  • Other reasons that you’ve experienced

 

The 7 Key Ingredients that Make Meetings Work

On the other hand, meetings that work usually contain the following elements.

  • Meeting is well designed:
    • Has a purpose statement with agreed upon meeting subject and desired results
    • Has an agenda that clearly specifies topics for discussion, timing, participant expectations, etc.
    • Provides participants with needed background information.
    • Determines needed pre-work by participants.
    • Uses effective group discussion processes such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision making, etc
    • Determines needed meeting logistics
  • Meeting starts and ends on time
  •  Meeting Leader is prepared
  • The critical people are in attendance
  • Participants understand their roles and participate appropriately
  • The meeting’s discussion focuses on the topics at hand
  • Pertinent discussion and results are captured and used going forward as needed.

Where to Go From Here

 Because holding better meetings is so important, KAW Consulting developed “Meetings That Work”, an electronic handbook that shows you step by step how to design and run effective meetings. Written in a clear, easy to use format you’ll learn:
  • What makes meetings succeed, and why many fail
  • The crucial roles that need to be filled in each meeting
  • The 8 Steps for designing Effective Meetings
  • Tips for Running an Effective Meeting
  • How to deal with potential problems you may encounter such as:
    • Stares and Silence
    • Negative Remarks
    • Separate Agendas
    • One person trying to dominate the discussion
  • How to use effective group discussion processes to:
    • Generate Ideas by Brainstorming
    • Solve Problems
    • Make Better Decisions
    • Plan Tasks
    • Set Goals

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, “Meetings That Work is now available in both Kindle and PDF versions.  U.S. purchasers can purchase both.  International users eligible to purchase from Amazon can purchase the Kindle Version.  Both versions allow you to have it accessible each time you need to design a meeting.

For information on the Kindle version either click the applicable link below, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Meetings That Work” in the search criteria.

Amazon U.S. click here.

Amazon.co.uk click here.

Amazon.de click here

Amazon.fr click here

Amazon.es click here

Amazon.it click here

Amazon.co.jp click here

Amazon.com.br click here

Amazon.ca click here

Amazon.in click here

Amazon.au click here

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “Meetings That Work” on your computer.  It includes hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.  You can purchase single copies or share with additional users by purchasing additional licenses.  This makes it easy for organizations to increase the productivity of their staffs.

You can buy single copies for the low price of $21.95.  Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $19.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

Advertisements

How to Use “Meetings That Work” to Avoid This Meeting Disaster

Learn how KAW Consulting’s “Meetings That Work” can help John and his colleagues avoid a common meeting disaster-too many completely unproductive meetings that waste everyone’s time.

Sitting in the conference room, feeling extremely frustrated, John tried not to visually roll his eyes in front of his co-workers.  What kept going through his mind was, “I have so much work I need to get done, and here I am in yet another wasted meeting.  In fact, I’m not really sure why we’re even having a meeting or what we’re supposed to accomplish.  All we got was a meeting notice with just some vague indication that we need to discuss the assignment that we’re all supposed to work on.  There’s no agenda or purpose statement.  In fact from the way people are talking, I’m not sure that anyone really knows what we’re supposed to accomplish in the next hour or so.  I sure don’t.  And this is the fourth meeting I’ve had like this, this week! How in the world am I supposed to get my work done if all I do is sit in useless meetings?”

John is not alone in his frustration.  People spend a lot of time at work in meetings. And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time.  Time that is vitally needed to be spent on getting the job done.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  With recognition amongst themselves that the meetings that he (John) and his colleagues are attending aren’t very productive, and some analysis and skill building on how to design and run effective meetings, the results could be vastly different.

WHAT THEY SHOULD DO

To start, they could take a look at why their meetings are so unproductive.  Often, it’s due to one or more of these common causes:

  • Meeting leader is unprepared and tries to “wing it”
  • There’s no formal agenda
  • Everyone disagrees on the meeting’s subject
  • The expected desired results are not defined
  • People critical to meeting’s success:
    • Don’t Show Up
    • Weren’t Invited
    • Come late or leave early
  • Participants don’t understand their roles
  • Unfocussed discussion
  • Results are not accurately recorded.
  • Other reasons they’ve experienced.

Then they could take a look at what makes meetings work well. These include factors such as:

  • Meeting is well designed:
    • Has a purpose statement with agreed upon meeting subject and desired results
    • Has an agenda that clearly specifies topics for discussion, timing, participant expectations, etc.
    • Provides participants with needed background information.
    • Determines needed pre-work by participants.
    • Uses effective group discussion processes such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision making, etc
    • Determines needed meeting logistics
  • Meeting starts and ends on time
  • Meeting Leader is prepared
  • The critical people are in attendance
  • Participants understand their roles and participate appropriately
  • The meeting’s discussion focuses on the topics at hand
  • Pertinent discussion and results are captured and used going forward as needed.


Next Steps

Once they’ve had the chance to analyze why they’re meetings aren’t working and deciding that they need to learn how to hold more effective ones (and stop wasting everyone’s time!) they can start learning the basic skills needed to design and hold effective meetings.  This is where KAW Consulting’s  electronic handbook, “Meetings That Work” can really help.  Written in a clear, easy to use format it covers:

  • What makes meetings succeed, and why many fail
  • The crucial roles that need to be filled in each meeting
  • The 8 Steps for designing Effective Meetings
  • Tips for Running an Effective Meeting
  • How to deal with potential problems you may encounter such as:
    • Stares and Silence
    • Negative Remarks
    • Separate Agendas
    • One person trying to dominate the discussion
  • How to use effective group discussion processes to:
    • Generate Ideas by Brainstorming
    • Solve Problems
    • Make Better Decisions
    • Plan Tasks
    • Set Goals

It’s designed to be used both by individuals and also groups, so John and his colleagues can all learn the skills they need to stop holding those ineffective meetings and actually get something done.

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, “Meetings That Work is now available in both Kindle and PDF versions.  U.S. purchasers can purchase both.  International users eligible to purchase from Amazon can purchase the Kindle Version.  Both versions allow you to have it accessible each time you need to design a meeting.

For information on the Kindle version either click the applicable link below, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Meetings That Work” in the search criteria.

Amazon U.S. click here.

Amazon.co.uk click here.

Amazon.de click here

Amazon.fr click here

Amazon.es click here

Amazon.it click here

Amazon.co.jp click here

Amazon.com.br click here

Amazon.ca click here

Amazon.in click here

Amazon.au click here

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “Meetings That Work” on your computer.  It includes hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.  You can purchase single copies or share with additional users by purchasing additional licenses.  This makes it easy for organizations to increase the productivity of their staffs.

You can buy single copies for the low price of $21.95.  Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $19.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

The 8 Steps of Effective Meeting Design

People spend a lot of time at work in meetings. And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time. Learn how to design and run meeting that don’t waste everyone’s time.

People spend a lot of time at work in meetings. And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time.

If you’re one of the majority that feels this way, this comes as no surprise. You know the feelings of frustration all too well. As well as the financial cost. If 4 people each earning $40,000 a year attend a 2 hour meeting that goes nowhere, that’s a cost of $152 of wasted time just for that meeting. Not to mention the incidental costs such as travel. Take those costs and multiply by the number of meetings you feel are a waste of time over a year and you are getting some real money. In this day and age when organizations are facing enormous budget constraints, and are looking hard at all their cost elements, improving meeting quality jumps out as a “no brainer”.

Yet there is often little analysis of why meetings fail, or what needs to happen so they succeed. Here are some of the common reasons things go wrong that you can measure against your own experience.

  • Meeting leader is unprepared and tries to “wing it”
  • There’s no formal agenda
  • Everyone disagrees on the meeting’s subject
  • The expected desired results are not defined
  • People critical to meeting’s success:
    • Don’t Show Up
    • Weren’t Invited
    • Come late or leave early
  • Participants don’t understand their roles
  • Unfocussed discussion
  • Results are not accurately recorded.
  • Other reasons that you’ve experienced

On the other hand, meetings that work usually contain the following elements.

  • Meeting is well designed:
    • Has a purpose statement with agreed upon meeting subject and desired results
    • Has an agenda that clearly specifies topics for discussion, timing, participant expectations, etc.
    • Provides participants with needed background information.
    • Determines needed pre-work by participants.
    • Uses effective group discussion processes such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision making, etc
    • Determines needed meeting logistics
  • Meeting starts and ends on time
  •  Meeting Leader is prepared
  • The critical people are in attendance
  • Participants understand their roles and participate appropriately
  • The meeting’s discussion focuses on the topics at hand
  • Pertinent discussion and results are captured and used going forward as needed.

8 Critical Steps to Designing an Effective Meeting

To help make sure that your meeting has the ingredients to succeed, follow these 8 key steps when designing it.

  • Agree on the Meeting’s Subject
  • Visualize the Desired Results
  • Choose the Right Discussion Process 
  • Invite the Right Participants
  • Develop a Meeting Purpose, Agenda and Ground Rules
  • Determine Pre-Work and Background Knowledge Needs
  • Determine Needed Meeting Logistics
  • Think of What Could Go Wrong
Where to Go From Here
 Because holding better meetings is so important, KAW Consulting developed “Meetings That Work”, an electronic handbook that shows you step by step how to design and run effective meetings. Written in a clear, easy to use format you’ll learn:
  • What makes meetings succeed, and why many fail
  • The crucial roles that need to be filled in each meeting
  • The 8 Steps for designing Effective Meetings
  • Tips for Running an Effective Meeting
  • How to deal with potential problems you may encounter such as:
    • Stares and Silence
    • Negative Remarks
    • Separate Agendas
    • One person trying to dominate the discussion
  • How to use effective group discussion processes to:
    • Generate Ideas by Brainstorming
    • Solve Problems
    • Make Better Decisions
    • Plan Tasks
    • Set Goals

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, “Meetings That Work is now available in both Kindle and PDF versions.  U.S. purchasers can purchase both.  International users eligible to purchase from Amazon can purchase the Kindle Version.  Both versions allow you to have it accessible each time you need to design a meeting.

For information on the Kindle version either click the applicable link below, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Meetings That Work” in the search criteria.

Amazon U.S. click here.

Amazon.co.uk click here.

Amazon.de click here

Amazon.fr click here

Amazon.es click here

Amazon.it click here

 Amazon.co.jp click here

 Amazon.com.br click here

Amazon.ca click here

Amazon.in click here

Amazon.com.au click here

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “Meetings That Work” on your computer.  It includes hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.  You can purchase single copies or share with additional users by purchasing additional licenses.  This makes it easy for organizations to increase the productivity of their staffs.

You can buy single copies for the low price of $21.95.  Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $19.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

Make All Your Managers More Productive With the “Manager’s Toolkit” on Their Workstations, Laptops or Tablets.

Learn how to get a substantial boost in your Managers’ and Supervisors’ productivity by using a very low cost method to put the “Manager’s Toolkit” on their workstations, laptops and tablets.

In today’s challenging economy, organizations need to find ways to substantially boost their Managers’ and Supervisors’ productivity.  Fortunately, there is an amazingly simple way of doing so by combining the power of technology available at your fingertips with “The Manager’s Toolkit” electronic handbooks that help Managers and Supervisors deal with their most challenging tasks.  This post shows you how.

The concept is simple.  Use your e-mail system to provide your Managers and Supervisors with the set of tools they need to deal with the common set of daily challenges they face. They can store these tools on their workstations, laptops, and work tablets (like iPad)  and access them whenever they need to.  They can use them when they’re in their office/workstation, at home, on the road, or in meetings.

All you have to do is buy one copy of the appropriate electronic handbook in PDF format, buy the number of  additional licenses you need, and send it out by e-mail with instructions on how to store and use it.

The 6 common challenges facing Managers and Supervisors  

Regardless of their function (accounting, operations, sales, production, etc.) Managers and Supervisors face 6 common day-to-day challenges that greatly impact their productivity. These are:

  • Designing and running meetings
  • Holding team discussions
  • Delegating work
  • Leading or participating on project teams
  • Coaching employees
  • Managing their own time

Talk with  any Manager or Supervisor and you’re probably going to hear either how they’ve either mastered the skills to deal successfully with these challenges, or the headaches they’re experiencing because of them.

The problem to date, is that each Manager or Supervisor usually has to develop their own solution.  If they’ve been to training, they may have the handouts to refer to (if they can find them).  Or, they may have developed their own reference library of  books dealing with these issues.

So, each time they face a challenge, they have to dig through what they’ve got stashed, which is both time-consuming and cumbersome.  And what do they do if they’re in one place and the books/materials in another?

Worse yet, everyone’s got their own solution and it’s not easily sharable.

What’s needed is an effective set of tools that all of your Managers and Supervisors can easily reference  each time they need help dealing with one of the 6 challenges.  Sometimes they need step-by-step guidance on how to deal with it.  Other times they just need a quick refresher to make sure they don’t leave anything out.

What’s the Solution?

To help Managers and Supervisors have the needed tools and guidance in one convenient place,  KAW Consulting developed the “Manager’s Toolkit“,  a set of electronic handbooks  that guide Managers and Supervisors step-by-step on how to develop the skills needed to deal with the 6 key challenge areas.  These are:

  • “Meetings That Work””
  • Team Tools” (Frameworks for  Making Better Group Decisions, Solving Problems, Generating Ideas, Setting Goals and Planning Tasks

  • “Delegating For Results”
  • “Project Management for Managers and Supervisors”
  • “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors”
  • “Time Management for Managers and Supervisors”

Unlike most books on the 6 key skill areas, that are too complicated and hard to understand, the “Manager’s Toolkit”  electronic handbooks are exactly the opposite. They’re written in easy to understand language that walk the Manager or Supervisor step by step through the processes needed to apply each of the 6 key skills.   Many even include sample forms and checklists.

Like any great handbook, the electronic handbooks in the “Manager’s Toolkit” are something meant to be used over and over again.  And unlike paper handbooks, that get lost easily, they’re  in PDF format, so Managers and Supervisors can store them on their computer, laptop or work tablet so they have them accessible each time they need to design a meeting, hold a team discussion, delegate a task, manage a project or coach an employee.  Just call up a handbook and it’s ready to use.  If they want a hard copy, they can print what only they need.  To save time, and allow the book to function as an e-tool, we’ve even included hyperlinks in each handbook’s Table of Contents, as appropriate, so they can jump right to the page or section they need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.

How Do I Get These Tools Out to the Organization?

Making the electronic handbooks available to your Managers and Supervisors is extremely easy.  You can purchase a single copy of any of the books online and download it.  Then all you need to do is purchase licenses for the number of people you want to send it to (also available online) and then simply send out the file by e-mail.  They then store the books in a folder or library on their workstation computer, laptop or tablet, and it’s available whenever they need it.  It’s that simple, really.

Better yet, prices are extremely affordable.  Single copies of each title range from $15.95 to $21.95.  Additional licenses to distribute to each of your Managers and Supervisors (or others in your organization that can use them) range from $14.95 per user per title to $19.95 per user per title.

How to View Samples and Purchase

To view more information on the “Manager’s Toolkit” and each of the titles in it, click here, or visit our main website at www.kawconsulting.com.

Note: Available to only U.S. customers at this time.

How to Stop Having Bad Meetings

70% of employees feel the meetings they attend aren’t productive. Learn how to design and run meetings that work.

[tweetmeme source=”KAWConsulting” http://www.bit.ly/cudwQ0]

People spend a lot of time at work in meetings.  And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time.

If you’re one of the majority that feels this way, this comes as no surprise.  You know the feelings of frustration all too well.  As well as the financial cost.  If  4 people each earning $40,000 a year attend a 2 hour meeting that goes nowhere, that’s a cost of $152  of wasted time just for that meeting.  Not to mention the incidental costs such as travel. Take those costs and multiply by the number of meetings you feel are a waste of time over a year and you are getting some real money.  In this day and age when organizations are facing enormous budget constraints, and are  looking hard at all their cost elements, improving meeting quality jumps out as a “no brainer”.

Yet there is often little analysis of why meetings fail, or what needs to happen so they succeed. Here are some of the common reasons things go wrong that you can measure against your own experience.

●    Meeting leader is unprepared and tries to “wing it”

●    There’s no formal agenda

●    Everyone disagrees on the meeting’s subject

●    The expected desired results are not defined

●    People critical to meeting’s success:

–     Don’t Show Up

–     Weren’t Invited

–     Come late or leave early

●    Participants don’t understand their roles

●    Unfocussed discussion

●    Results are not accurately recorded.

●   Other reasons that you’ve experienced

On the other hand, meetings that work usually contain the following elements.

●    Meeting is well designed:

–  Has a purpose statement with agreed upon meeting subject and desired results

– Has an agenda that clearly specifies topics for discussion, timing, participant expectations, etc.

        –  Provides participants with needed background information

–  Determines needed pre-work by participants.

–  Uses effective group discussion processes such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision making, etc.

        –  Determines needed meeting logistics

●    Meeting starts and ends on time

●    Meeting Leader is prepared

●    The critical people are in attendance

●    Participants understand their roles and participate appropriately

●    The meeting’s discussion focuses on the topics at hand

●    Pertinent discussion and results are captured and used going forward as needed.

Because holding better meetings is so important, KAW Consulting developed “Meetings That Work”, an electronic handbook that shows you step by step how to design and run effective meetings.   Written in a clear, easy to use format you’ll learn:

  • What makes meetings succeed, and why many fail
  • The crucial roles that need to be filled in each meeting
  • The 8 Steps for designing Effective Meetings
  • Tips for Running an Effective Meeting
  • How to deal with potential problems you may encounter such as:

                  – Stares and Silence

                  – Negative Remarks

                  – Separate Agendas

                  – One person trying to dominate the discussion

  • How to use effective group discussion processes to:

–  Generate Ideas by Brainstorming

–  Solve Problems

–  Make Better Decisions

–  Plan Tasks

–  Set Goals

What’s more, because it’s an electronic book in PDF format, you can store it on your computer so you have it accessible each time you need to design a meeting!  We’ve even included hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.

You can buy single copies for the low price of $21.95.

Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $19.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

Note: Available to U.S. purchasers only.