⏲️ "Can we make the meeting shorter?" is the wrong question to ask. Stop sabotaging your meetings using these four points. 🏼
If someone wants to shorten your meeting, whether it's Sprint Retrospective, Town Hall or other, it's likely not about how long it lasts. 👉🏼 What they are saying is the event is inefficient and the value delivered over time is unsatisfactory.
It's a plague that needs a different approach. Here is why and how.
Quality conversations need time - half-day or whole-day meetings can be better than hour-and-a-half. If the goal requires answering complex questions or touching the uncomfortable - book time for it to reach surface instead of rushing it. It takes time to stop talking about what is superficial.
The agenda dictates length - not the other way around. Focus on how much time the topic might need, and ask the participants when building the schedule. Learn together to be more mindful of this aspect or take on less topics.
Use follow-ups as a last resort - it's easy to bloat an agenda and follow up on the topics until eternity. An infamous record I've seen was an agenda with 35 cases to discuss in 45 minutes.
There is a way to tackle such situations with strict moderation and Consent Decision Making from Sociocracy 3.0. yet it's rarely being used.
People not speaking up does not equal people having nothing to say - idleness is not your enemy; the more you learn to sit with discomfort in meetings and get accustomed to silence, the more things will emerge in the discussions you lead.
Some questions to ponder upon:
What do you do to sabotage your meetings or the meetings you attend? Restraining yourself from action is also action.
How can you improve the engagement you attend instead of walking away or checking out?
What's the one thing you can change today to improve the experience for yourself and help others?
Is my behaviour in this moment the greatest contribution I can make to the effectivness of this collaboration? (Artful Participation from S3.0.)
🎈Share this post if you think it can help others to lead valuable meetings that focus on quality, not time.