Meetings: A Necessary Skill for People Managers

Meetings: A Necessary Skill for People Managers

“Not another meeting.”

A phrase that’s probably uttered by workers more than once a day.

Solving meeting overload is an ages-old work issue. The complaints can range from too many meetings to too long to not having the right people in the right meetings.

This recent segment from CBS Sunday Morning sums up typical meeting culture perfectly, adding just a bit of humor to the topic. One of the areas that the segment brings up is the question: is it the quantity or the quality of the meetings that workers struggle with?

My answer is both and neither.

Conducting meetings is a skill and one that’s especially important for managers to ace. Areas of this competency include:

  • Knowing when a meeting is necessary and when or if the information can be summed up in an email.
  •  Knowing how to create an agenda that keeps a meeting efficient and on point.
  • Understanding who should be there and whether it’s the right time for them to be there.
  • Managing the meeting by beginning and ending on time.
  •  Listening to others and giving them the time to speak.

These skills can be learned or improved to conduct productive meetings and develop a positive meeting culture. If companies want to know more about their managers’ performance in organizing and conducting meetings, a couple of questions added to a 360 assessment would be helpful.

Hiring managers can also interview for these skills. Asking questions such as, “Can you describe an instance where you had to organize and conduct a meeting with your team?” or “What do you find to be the top three skills when leading a team meeting?” can shed light on whether or not this is a candidate who can be effective in a people management role.

Meetings don’t have to be the bane of employees’ workday. As a matter of fact, with a few behavioral tweaks and some skills development, meetings can be a productive and essential part of team dynamics.  

Now that you’ve read our short post, as Mo Rocca says, we’ll give you the rest of your day back.