Did you know that company executives spend up to 50% of their time in meetings? If you are on a £60k salary that’s £30k of your pay for you to sit, or stand and be in a meeting, or maybe chair the meeting. That’s a lot of time and cost tied up.

The reason I raise this is that I have sat in some real stinkers. I’m talking about staring out of the window, play with your pen or reach for your phone.

At Rise Above it is one of the first things we review and it can tell us a huge amount about company culture and how decisions get made (or not). We help make them more effective and develop the skills of chair-people. We are often asked for a checklist, so here’s a short version:

  1. Circulate information and agenda in advance
  2. Ensure each item on the agenda has a timescale, so you keep things moving
  3. Invite ALL the right people
  4. Make sure everyone knows their role in the meeting and why they are there
  5. Start the meeting on time and try and keep it to an hour or less
  6. Count the salaries in the room and recognise how expensive this meeting is – so make it count
  7. Include all the participants, e.g. use people’s names to invite them to participate
  8. Leave red herrings in the water
  9. Note action points with individual responsibility and timescales for completion
  10. Follow up

For the past year, most meetings have been virtual. The above still applies. As we emerge from lockdown, let’s make all our meetings more worthwhile – and less expensive!