Do You Really Need to Hold That Conference [Quiz + Tips]

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“This could have been an email. ”

Those six words may take the wind out of your workplace. They mean that time has been wasted, employees are disappointed, and leadership has been ever-so-slightly undermined.

Unjustified meetings are usually inefficient and grating. Haphazardly putting time on colleagues’ calendars — only to fumble with its purpose, conduct this without direction, or invest all your time talking at attendees as opposed to collaborating with them — takes a toll on everyone involved.

Right here, we’ll review some criteria you should look for when deciding whether a meeting is worth everyone’s period, see a few definitive indications that an issue doesn’t warrant a meeting, and go over a few of the more prominent, effective meeting alternatives.

Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your productivity at work.

When You Should Hold a Meeting

The issue at hand is urgent and time-sensitive.

If the information you need to express is must-hear and timebound, don’t think twice — book a meeting. You don’t want to face of sending a bulk email about a pressing concern, only to have some employees gloss it over or disregard it entirely.

Some items are need-to-know and aren’t wait, and your response to those instances needs to reflect that will kind of urgency. Don’t be overly passive. Don’t count on your own team members to get to the information independently time. Book a meeting, and get those points across.

You need a space for thorough conversation and multiple perspectives.

A few issues call for some degree of collaboration and thinking aloud. Those kinds of brainstorm sessions and general discussions justify actual meetings. The spur of the moment thinking and flexibility for your team in order to bounce ideas off one another is hard to replicate via mediums like instant information or email.

Collaborative conferences foster creativity and crucial thinking. If you feel you need your team to immediately operate thoughts by one another on the fly and tease ideas out of each other in person, booking a meeting is probably your best bet.

Decision-making reaches play.

When the content of a potential meeting is high-stakes — as in “involving decisions that have substantial implications on the company’s future” — you have to get everyone together.

You may not take these situations lightly. In these cases, stakeholders need to know what’s going on and have a forum to air concerns and provide insight. An email chain, message board, or even pre-recorded video presentation refuses to provide that.

When You Don’t Need a Meeting

You don’t have a definitive agenda.

One of the biggest meeting blunders you can make is going in without a plan. Never side a meeting. Just going in and trying to figure things out there as you go is frustrating and obnoxious for your team members — it’s an unproductive waste materials of time.

If you don’t put plans together, you’re also undermining your ability to determine whether the problem at hand actually warrants a meeting in the first place. When you take the time to manage your thoughts, concerns, and components, you’re giving yourself a chance to see the situation in a more objective light.

With that kind of clearness and perspective, you can more thoughtfully determine whether the information you need to convey is better suited for the mass email, instant information chain, or any other much less time-and-energy-consuming format.

You don’t have all of your information together.

This point connections into the one above. If you’re not thoroughly prepared or maybe the information you’ve gathered so far presents an incomplete image of the situation at hand, you aren’t best off holding away from on booking a meeting.

The most effective meetings are thorough, innovative, and provide actionable guidance. In case you only have a piece of the bigger picture, you probably won’t be able to definitively set your team on the right track — and there’s no obtaining that time you with everyone booked back.

If you have some information on hand that you feel your team should know. You may be better off touching base using them over a less personal, time-consuming medium and letting them understand you’ll have more insight to provide sometime soon.

The meeting is going to involve too many people.

In case you are finding your list of potential meeting attendees seems extreme, you might want to explore other options for getting the information in question out. Massive meetings are often unproductive and typically involve a fair quantity of people who don’t actually have to be there.

If the meeting is going to be packed to the rafters, you probably won’t see much innovative, organized discussion. Plus, in the event that that many people need to know what you need to say, it’s probably really a one-sided announcement than an issue that lends itself to focused collaboration. In most cases, that kind of content is generally better suited to email.

1 . Email

Email might be the most prominent alternative to meetings. It’s an excellent resource for announcements and less pushing, more general internal conversation — information that doesn’t necessarily require an immediate response. This allows you to easily get your information out while providing a chance for individual questions plus thoughtful collaboration.

2 . Movie Presentations

Pre-recorded video delivering presentations can be an excellent way to thoroughly and thoughtfully convey details without getting the team together. Resources like Loom permit you to conduct demonstrations, record messages, and offer updates that your associates can watch on their own — producing for less friction and preserving some time that a full-scale meeting might waste.

3. Instant Messaging

Instant messaging is one of the better ways to replicate some of the more immediate, spur-of-the-moment aspects of a collaborative meeting. With these kinds of programs, you can receive quick responses from team members in real-time. The structure is best suited for quick questions and conversations that not necessarily necessarily significant enough to warrant full-scale meetings.

4. Wikis and FAQ Pages

Wikis and FAQ webpages offer materials that deal with common questions and problems that your team members might come across. These mediums are also effective in the long term. By committing information to a web page, you can provide your team an evergreen reference point for concerns and stave off unnecessary meetings, down the line.

Quiz: Do you really need that meeting?


Meetings need to be booked thoroughly and with intention. Your colleagues can’t get that time back, so you need to know that you’ll be successful every time you circle up with them.

If you’re thinking of reserving time with your team, make sure to consider the points on this listing. You don’t want to deal with the particular groans and eye progresses that come with a meeting that “could have been an email. ”

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