“Let’s schedule a meeting” has become the universal default response to most business issues. Not sure what to do on a project? Let’s schedule a meeting. Have a few ideas to share? Let’s schedule a meeting. Struggling with taking action? Let’s schedule a meeting.
Although scheduling a meeting can be the right solution in many instances, it’s not always the best answer. Here is a decision tree to help you quickly determine if a meeting makes the most sense.
Save or print out this decision tree to make deciding whether or not to hold a meeting as quick and easy as possible. As you go through it, here’s what you should consider at each step:
Have I thought through this situation? When you don’t have clarity about what you’re doing on a project, it’s tempting to schedule a meeting to give you the feeling of progress. But unless the meeting’s intent is to structure the project, at this point, scheduling a meeting is an inefficient use of your time — and your colleagues’. Instead, set aside some time with yourself to do some strategic thinking. During that time you can evaluate the scope of the project, the current status, the potential milestones, and lay out a plan of action for making meaningful progress. Once you’ve completed your own strategic thinking prep work, then you can move onto the next step of considering whether to hold a meeting.