Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Time is the only irreplaceable asset, so deciding how much of your valuable time to invest in meetings is vital. 

Meetings seem to consume more and more time.What makes a meeting productive? What makes it necessary for you to attend?

The stated purpose for a meeting can be to inform, or to educate, or to motivate. But what makes any meeting productive is the dialogue it generates, the dialogue required to motivate action and make progress. One-sided pronouncements don’t promote dialogue, and so, don’t require meetings…these can be accomplished by an email or a posting. 

The emotions observed by the audience when they hear the message being delivered helps them understand it and react to it, either attracting or alienating them. They assess the energy, intensity and sincerity inherent in the message, and these become the fuel that drives the subsequent dialogue. 

Your familiarity with the message of a meeting, and your ability to contribute to the dialogue it fosters, can be useful for judging if attending the meeting is necessary. Will your enthusiasm for the message sustain your attention, generate energy and keep you engaged so you’re not checking email? If this can’t happen, then skip the meeting. Multi-tasking during a meeting is not productive, nor is it respectful or beneficial. 

How do you determine if a meeting is a good investment of your time?