We already know that we spend the majority of our time at work and of that time at work we spend most of it in meetings. These can be formal meetings, conference calls, coffee meetings, all my favorite. The, "in the hallway on your way to somewhere else" informal meeting. How many meetings do you have each week? Five or less, 10 or less, 15 or less, 15 or more? Some of you are in back-to-back meetings, I'm sure. Which means you're often having to do your work after hours or on weekends to try and catch up. In any case, you want to make sure the meetings you do have are worthwhile. When I run workshops, I ask the group what kinds of meetings they have. They then write up a list of all the different types of meetings from WIPs, work in progress meetings, to performance reviews, to new client induction meetings, to project debriefs. Sometimes there are 20 different types of meetings, catch ups and conversations. What if you were to assess each meeting and ask, does this have to be a meeting, can it be handled in any other way, does everyone invited really have to be there, is there anyone who should be there who isn't? For example, the decision-maker. Does it have to be an hour or could it be 30 minutes or even 20, do we know the point of the meeting, the overall outcome, is it being led properly and do we know what we're expected to do before, during and after? If you ask those questions, how would your meetings change? Don't get me wrong, there's a whole bunch of benefits to having meetings. Being able to make quick decisions with everyone present, dealing with difficult situations and finding resolution whilst maintaining rapport with everyone. Not to mention morale or culture building, but automatically having a meeting just because that's what we do, doesn't help. It's rare you have the chance to do this analysis on your meetings, now you do. In this week, you will discover how humans behave in meetings. You'll also develop a process to prepare for meetings. Finally, you'll determine the best way to lead conversations so that you boost your reputation and the team's morale, rather than deflate it. By the end, you may be able to influence the way meetings are run in your whole company, or maybe you'll simply be more aware of your meetings. Either way, whatever you do, value and respect your time and the time of others. As my mother used to say, "It's an honor to have people's attention, use it wisely."