Most businesses have way too many meetings. They last too long. They have too many participants. And they are held in conference rooms with chairs that are too comfortable. Too often our days are defined by these meetings, rather than by the stretches of non-meetingness when the real work gets done.
If you want to solve this problem in your organization, watch more NASCAR. Scratch that. Find yourself a NASCAR Pit Crew Meeting Mentor. In a NASCAR race, the goal is to get to the finish line before anyone else. The more time a driver spends driving the car as fast as he or she can, the better. Calling the driver to a meeting during a race sounds crazy, right? But that’s exactly what happens.
In every NASCAR race, the driver will pull into the pits, and a company meeting breaks out. Attendees typically include the driver, the Gas Man (#snickering), The Jack Man, A couple of Tire Jockeys, and maybe someone to extend some fresh beef jerky to the driver. If you watch a full race you’ll pick up on a few key meeting tips that you can put to work in your place of business.
5 Meeting Tips You Can Learn From A NASCAR Pit Crew.
- Go into each meeting with a clear, concise agenda. If you don’t have a clear agenda, clear the meeting off your schedule.
- Only invite critical team members. Which means Barney from accounting will be invited to as many meetings this year as he was invited to parties in college.
- Meet as quickly as possible and get out. Time your meetings with a stopwatch, not an hourglass.
- Meet as infrequently as possible. The more time you spend working alone the better. Just like that business trip when you forgot your deodorant.
- The longest team meetings should be in the winner’s circle. And everyone should be wearing confetti and a fizzy beverage.
Meetings are occasionally necessary. When they are, think like a pit crew. Plan the meeting ahead of time. Know how many people need to jump over the wall, and how many tires they should bring. Always make the meetings short and sweet. It’s the best way to ensure you and your team will accomplish more of your long-term goals.