The Magic Hour of Meetings
If people are always skipping your meetings or trying to reschedule them, maybe you’re choosing to hold them at the wrong time. That’s one of the tips Chad Perry offers in his recent Inc.com article on scheduling meetings. Here are a few details to consider when you want to get the most of out of your meetings.
Wellness and productivity studies show that human bodies follow a circadian rhythm. For most of us, a typical workday involves arriving at the office around 9:00 a.m. About an hour after we get up, the body is done pumping out melatonin and our blood pressure rises. Between 9:00 a.m. and noon, our brain is in peak working order and our bodies are filled with testosterone.
With these details in mind, schedule your meetings for 10:00. You’re likely to have good results. Your team members have spent the first hour of their workday putting out any fires that started overnight. The 10:00 time frame is also too early for most folks to be thinking about lunch, so they’ll be in the right frame of mind to listen and participate in your meeting. If you wait to meet until after lunch, your team members may be sluggish from the carb overload they enjoyed at the food truck, or distracted by thoughts of what they know they have to finish before the end of the day.
You may typically hold a meeting every month in the conference room. Maybe it’s about the sales forecast. Or maybe you like to review all of the customer service issues that came up in the past four weeks and discuss how they were resolved. If you’ve been following the same format for several months or years, the meeting is going to get stale. Team members might be tempted to schedule a root canal as a way to escape the two hours you always block for this meeting.
To generate new ideas and more interest in what you’re trying to accomplish, consider changing the meeting venue. Ask participants to bring walking shoes and lead them around walking paths near the office while you discuss key topics or solicit advice. You might ask a team member to run the meeting while you act as a participant. This strategy gives the team member experience with planning and running meetings and may give you a fresh perspective.
The next time you’re ready to send out meeting invites, think about who is involved and what you want to accomplish. Changing up one or two of the parameters may make a world of difference in the outcomes.