Meetings: Lose the Weight, Feel Great

Do you get that sickly, over-indulged sluggishness from stuffing too many meetings into an already crammed week?

Meeting obesity is a widespread, pandemic-related problem. Research shows the weight gain since the onset of the pandemic is 25.3% more time in meetings. Those meetings are contributing to a too-heavy workload:  two and a half hours more work per day than February 2020.

Meeting obesity kills performance. It frustrates people, wears them out, fosters miscommunication, and creates resentment.

It’s Time to Get Healthy

MeetingsGetHealthyTrimming your waste-line (thanks, Elise Keith, for that clever pun!) requires paying attention to your meeting diet. Manage your intake: get the junk out. Have a goal: celebrate when you hit it. And stop obsessing over what you see in the “mirror.”

Are you ready for meetings that satisfy but aren’t a binge? Want to produce an aroma that will stimulate a healthy team’s appetite, too.? Let’s get cookin’!

1.    Manage Your Weekly Intake.

Your 1-hour team meeting is (maybe) satisfying to you because you get the updates you want. But do the math. For a team of 10, if that meeting isn’t just as valuable for all of them, you waste a day of team productivity.  You get your cake and eat it, too, but you bloat your team’s workload by wasting their time.

Even when you think a meeting will be valuable for everyone, weigh this: my research shows emotional exhaustion begins at seven hours of video meetings in a week. So, before you cook up what you hope is a tasty dish, look at your calendar, and theirs: how many video meetings are already on plates? Decide whether you prefer productivity, or exhaustion from over-consumption.

2.    Have a Goal. 

Everyone knows a meeting should have a stated purpose, duh! But you also need a meeting goal. How can you measure the success of the time and energy spent if you don’t have a target?

A meeting purpose sounds like this: “Discuss Team Tasks.” A goal sounds like this: “In this meeting, our aim is to reach a decision that we’ll implement tomorrow.”

Make sure you have both a purpose and a goal. Get clear on both before the meeting, so you set yourself (and everyone else) up for success. Without both, it’s too easy to get sidetracked. And, it’s much more fun to have a target: you get good energy when you hit it.

3.    Stop Obsessing About the “Mirror.”

Remote workers say the video camera is the conference room mirror. When all cameras are on, you monitor how you look and how they look, too. Engaged? Bored? Happy? Annoyed? You want to know whether you’re making the right impression and if they’re tracking and agreeing (or disagreeing) with you.

But having cameras on all the time undermines good health. Camera use sucks up a lot of your (and their) mental juice. You feel compelled to manufacture the energy (be up!) to create a good impression while paying over-attention to faces, chat, and screen-sharing, yet simultaneously trying to anticipate, take in, sort, prioritize, and remember the business of the meeting. And when you require their cameras to be on, you put a Hoover to their energy, too.

Mirrors can be affirming, sure, but not all the time. Require cameras only when seeing faces is essential to achieving the goal of your meeting. Otherwise, put less on the plate: make cameras optional or have a voice-only call.

Lose the Weight, Feel Great!

Meeting load can be a killer. Start losing that waste and get more done with and through your people. That makes everybody feel great!

Want the eight additional ingredients for energizing remote or hybrid meetings? Get the rest of the recipe in my book Making Virtual Work: How to Build Performance and Relationships.

Want to talk about what you want, and how to get it? Give us a shout! (980) 349-8114.

For more insights on what you can start doing right now to enable your success today and tomorrow, subscribe to our newsletter here.

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