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Do You Have Too Many Meetings?

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Most people would answer a definitive YES to this question. In fact, dig deeper and people are often slaves to their calendar, as if it has a life of its own. It becomes your boss. It seems to have a tighter and tighter grip on your life and even though you most likely declare your intent to better it... it doesn't change.

At Next Jump, we have found that the real question is: Which meetings are effective vs ineffective? We work to eliminate or shorten ineffective ones and start adding or lengthening effective ones.

Meetings usually fall into one of two categories:

1. Red Wine Discussions
2. Lectures

1. Red Wine Discussions
How many meetings have you had where there are no actionable outcomes? It was simply a discussion that could have been served with red wine It may be interesting but at the end of the day, this is a meeting that if eliminated, has little to no downside.

2. Lectures
Someone more senior spends the majority of the meeting dictating to you what you are doing wrong, should do, or some other form of a lecture. It's a one directional meeting. You could almost ask for the cliff notes from someone else. Being there in person had little upside benefit.

3. Situational Workshops
There is a third category of meetings we call: Situational Workshops. Small teams come prepared with a description of one to two of the most challenging personal or professional situations they have experienced in the very recent past. In sharing this with a senior leader, the leader is able to coach individuals situationally. Senior leaders challenge and point out blind spots in judgment and decision making, often expanding the employee's set of choices and options that were truly available vs what they thought. We have seen these meetings having the highest adoption rates in advice taken and actioned. Over time we have seen these meetings have the greatest impact on personal development of our staff.

This third category we've found to be the most effective. We run them weekly in dozens and dozens of small teams. The individuals participating are receiving weekly mentorship. The leaders are practicing their mentoring and coaching skills while learning deep listening skills to read situations for their uniqueness.

What are your best and worst meeting tips to share?

Charlie Kim is Founder & CEO of Next Jump, a technology company headquartered in New York City. What sets Next Jump apart is their culture and focus on human capital, defined by: Better Me + Better You = Better Us. Follow Charlie on Twitter @CharlieYKim

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