We are all looking forward to gradually returning to “normality”: to the distant world in which we all lived in 2019, which now appears in the collective subconscious as an old story. Just as September 11th changed the world in many ways, the global COVID-19 crisis has changed our relationship with one another.
The simple reality is that we will never go back to “normal”. Rather, we will enter a new era in which the parameters of relationship, the form of communication and the hierarchies of social value are different. After major global crises, there is always a renaissance: embrace change and use what we have learned. May a year of the pandemic not let you go by in vain.
The trend implies a change in management paradigms. The suggestion is simple: In the post-pandemic world, cut down on panels and committees … and increase the time it takes to create Links.
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1. Is this meeting really necessary?
Before the pandemic, it was common to travel to another city to have an hour-long meeting and fill the floor-to-ceiling agenda with meetings, leaving little time for real work and personal contact.
After the pandemic, we learned that many meetings can be virtual and fifteen minutes long. Meetings are used to bring a team up to date or to make strategic decisions. However, they should be avoided if there is no material to justify them. Today’s meetings need to be more effective, faster, and leave enough space for other policy, operational, and management tasks.
2. Have an agenda. Communicate it. Do it.
Picture: Estée Janssens on Unsplash
A good meeting has two or three items on the agenda that should be communicated in advance or, if not, at the beginning of the meeting. The meeting leader should be transparent about the start and end times (and be very punctual!). Forget about surprise meetings or those where people don’t know what they want. While “being in control” may be tempting, it is actually stress and discomfort.
3. Avoid the decibel rule
In a meeting there are always people who speak more and at a higher volume: They are used to their opinion being heard and they have the last word. There is necessarily nothing wrong with that. The problem is, there are other people who are more shy and less assertive and usually don’t raise their hands or voices.
Your job as a moderator is to give these people a voice.and moderate those who eat time and dwell on their own opinions.
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This is relatively simple: ask non-speakers directly, especially if their opinion is relevant to the case. At the end, do a simple vote so that only those who know how to shout don’t “win” the meeting.
4. Use diversity wisely
A board of directors or a committee works well when people create more wealth together than individually. Look actively for diversity and multidisciplinarity … and then let it count! Although everyone has a voice in the end, it is important that each person clearly expresses the specific knowledge in their field: that the doctor contributes to health issues, the communicator to communication issues, and the lawyer to legal issues.
Misinformed opinions can become a real burden that pulls the boards into the black hole of despair.
5. Complete with tasks
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A meeting that doesn’t end with a specific to-do list is a missed meeting. Always write the agreements in writing and share them with everyone involved. Now follow: This list can be used as the basis for the agenda for the next meeting.
6. Finally: fewer meetings and more connections!
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The personalized leadership trend is becoming more and more important in the post-Covid era. Keep group meetings as short (and as little as possible) and speak one-on-one with people to create real connections that create wealth beyond meetings.
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Find personal spaces, also briefly, to listen to your employees, their stories, their ideas and their concerns. Have a coffee, go with them, and call them by name. Ask them about their children and hobbies. Remember that communication is not a technology, it is a relationship. As long as the relationship with the people you work with remains healthy and real, problems can be solved more easily without losing your company’s vision and mission.