Shorter meetings to be more productive

Can shorter meetings be more productive?

Michael O’Neill – x Northern Ireland Manager

Can shorter meetings be more productive?

Michael O’Neill, when manager of Northern Ireland, once told me that his team members had different levels of concentration. Due to this fact he felt that it was important to alter the delivery of messages into the format that the recipient would best understand. Therefore, he tried to keep 1-2-1 meeting to 10 minutes and also said, “even that is too long for Kyle.”


Here’s some other points to consider which could help you host more effective and shorter meetings.
• 30 minute and 1-hour slots fit neatly in our calendar but is that time really required for the meeting? This can be altered in your Outlook settings for all meetings – try setting to 25 or 45 mins (or shorter if you can)
• Only invite people who need to be there
• Have a clear and focused agenda circulated in advance of the meeting with allocated time slots for each subject – to match your meeting purpose
• Circulate information for advance pre-reading and ask for information in advance
• Start and end on time (or early if you can – nobody ever complained of a meeting ending early)
• Phones off
• Assign meeting roles – minute taker, timekeeper, etc
• Park conversations that begin to wander
• Take complex problems outside the meeting


We have all been in meetings and left afterwards drained or disappointed. Learn from what you felt went wrong in those meetings to improve your own and remember, shorter meetings create less dread!

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