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Setting one on one meetings

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The right decision-making process, you can radically reduce the number of meetings you attend and increase the amount of work that gets done.

The right decision-making process, you can radically reduce the number of meetings you attend and increase the amount of work that gets done.

Before you schedule a meeting, ask:

1. Have I thought through this situation? When you don’t have clarity about what you’re doing on a project, it’s tempting to schedule a meeting to give you the feeling of progress. But unless the meeting’s intent is to structure the project, at this point  scheduling a meeting is an inefficient use of your time — and your colleagues’ time. Instead, set aside some time with yourself and evaluate the scope of the project, the current status, the potential milestones, then lay out a plan of action for making meaningful progress. Once you’ve completed your own strategic thinking, then you can move on to the next step of considering whether to hold a meeting.

2. Do I need outside input to make progress? You may be in a situation where you know what needs to be done, and you simply need to do the work. If you find yourself in this place, don’t schedule a meeting; update your to-do list and take action instead.

3. Does moving forward require a real-time conversation? If you need some answers to questions, but they don’t require a two-way conversation, e-mail can be an excellent option in lieu of a meeting.

4. Does the situation necessitate a face-to-face meeting? When you need two-way communications, but don’t necessarily need to see the person, you have a variety of options. An online chat can help you answer questions quickly, or for more in-depth conversations,  scheduling a phone call or video conference can work well.

If, in the end, you decide that you do need face-to-face, in-person communication, then schedule a meeting, and think through in advance how you can make it as efficient and effective as possible. That means considering your intent for the meeting, establishing your desired outcomes and preparing any materials that you should review or send out in advance.

(Adapted from Do You Really Need to Hold That Meeting? at HBR.org.)

source: Harvard Business School

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