Posted by: BayAreaComRE | March 30, 2010

Guest Post: How to Run Effective Meetings

Often times, meetings can become redundant and useless, especially if they serve little to no functional purpose other than being a “standing meeting”.  Auren Hoffman of the Summation Blog and Rapfleaf agrees; “Most meetings are wastes of time. Even in meetings that people consider to be well-run, there is much room for improvement. But internal meetings – when run effectively – can be the fastest way to reach a vital decision or to disseminate important information.”

We think it’s an important parallel to our universe because part of our job is to advise clients on the correct footprint for their office. As meetings become less important and conferencing space becomes smaller, the more a companies square feet can be allocated to vital uses and money can even be saved. The public often thinks that all commercial real estate advisors want for their clients is bigger spaces and longer leases, but that is truly not the case. If our clients size is so overwhelming that it becomes a functional inhibitaor, they’re likely not going to retain our services the next time around. That’s why we think Auren’s argument is spot-on.

Recently, the restructure of our lease here at the Cushman & Wakefield San Francisco office included the construction of a lot more smaller “break-out” rooms and less private offices. This is perfect environment for what the Summation post is talking about as far as small, short, ad-hoc meetings.

An excerpt of Auren’s post is below:

“1.    Only hold meetings when they are absolutely necessary.  Most meetings are not needed in the first place. Only call a meeting if it is truly needed, such as for urgent matters. Often, an email or quick phone can be just as, if not more, effective and efficient.

2.    Keep meetings small.  The ideal size of a meeting is two people. If your meeting has more than eight people it is no longer a meeting, it is a concert.  Sometimes concerts are important (like company meetings for team building and building team spirit), but recognize that people will perceive them differently.  Concerts, just like rock concerts, need to be really fun, engaging, exciting, and interesting to everyone in attendance.

3.    Aim for ad-hoc meetings.  Ad-hoc meetings (with 2-6 decision makers) are almost always better than standing meetings. Bringing people together to solve a problem is the best type of meeting.  Review all standing meetings and kill meetings that are no longer useful or productive. “

For the rest of the post click here.

Thank you Auren for your input!

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