Home >

When Should I Hold Meetings?

A meeting is a management tool. Like any tool, it needs to be used when it can be most effective. Meetings are best used in the following situations:

  1. You need a new approach to a problem. By bringing together a group of your employees or colleagues, you hope a creative idea will be generated that can address the problem.
  2. You need information that others possess. The situation is so complex that you require a broad range of knowledge, so insights from more than one person are needed.
  3. You need the participants to understand the solution you plan to apply. Your intention is to communicate your solution and the reasons behind it.
  4. You have a solution to a problem but you aren’t sure it is the right way to proceed. A group meeting is the quickest way to get feedback on the validity of your idea.
  5. You want to make members feel like a team. A meeting can be a good setting to help your staff members better understand each other and build rapport among your employees.
  6. You want to increase the likelihood of the plan being implemented successfully. Involving your employees in the decision will make them more interested in seeing the plan succeed.
  7. You need more authority than you possess to proceed. A cross-functional group is needed, with participants from various areas of your organization.
  8. You want to share responsibility for a decision or plan. If a mistake comes with a high cost, or the action you are considering has a high risk, you may want to involve others to share in the responsibility.
  9. You have time and believe that using it in deliberation of a number of good ideas will ensure that the best one is chosen.
  10. You want to use the meeting as a learning opportunity.

All these are reasons for using meetings.

Tell Me More

Despite our lean organizations, there is no question that meetings continue to be a popular way in which work is done. Still, used indiscriminately, meetings can take up as much as 30 percent of your workweek. Already, senior managements spend almost half of their week in meetings.

So when faced with a choice, if you or a staff member, working independently, can accomplish the same goal, there is no point in calling a meeting. If you need information from another person, you can get that information via telephone, on e-mail, or over lunch or in a one-on-one meeting. It’s even possible today to get a virtual group together on a corporate network for a one-time exchange of information. The decision itself and implementation of that decision may not demand a group effort.