Sad facts about meetings:
Over 70% of people bring other work to meetings.
It is estimated that 25-50% of meeting time is wasted.
Business Insider estimates that mindless meetings like this are costing the U.S. economy $37 billion a year.
As a sales leader, every Monday I held an in-person meeting where I verbally collected each account manager’s commit (the revenue that each account manager would bring in for the week). Because each account manager had their own way of managing their business, and due to the complexity of deals, I had to ask intense questions to ensure they understood what was truly realistic to close the upcoming week.
These meetings were typically 90-120 minutes every Monday morning. The ‘Monday Morning Commit’ is something my company had been doing since the year I was born, so needless to say, I wasn’t going to change that standing meeting.
And, yet, I knew there had to be a better process.
Monday mornings can be highly productive, but instead, my team was stuck in a room with me instead of supporting their customers.
After my team attended a 5-week mindfulness program, I instituted “Mindful Meetings”, and after the second meeting, we reduced our Monday Commit from 90-120 minutes to 45 minutes.
By week 2, expectations were set that everyone was prepared (commits needed to be thought out, concise and clear) and present (no technology multitasking).
“Mindful Meetings” is a formula for valuable, efficient and focused meetings.
Start every meeting 5 minutes late: let people settle in from their commute and gather/set up everything they needed for the meeting.
Go Tech-Free: put technology away and turn off notifications.
Lead a Mindful Minute: give everyone minute concentration practiceor breathing exercise to help the brain and body transition out of their fight/flight response from the jarring and stressful commutes into New York City.
Focus: review the goal of the meeting and agenda, reminding everyone to be clear, concise and ask anyone who doesn’t need to be there to excuse themselves.