Are your meetings too long?

Do you want to make them shorter and more efficient?

Then listen to ep #139 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast and learn 5 Reasons Why The 50-Minute Meeting Will Grow Your Business.

In this episode you’ll get inspired to:

  • Ask ‘Why do we always have to have a one-hour meeting’?
  • Figure out how to fit in a bathroom break between back-to-back meetings
  • Take an honest look at how productive your meetings could be and more

And once you make this change, then you’ll have more effective meetings that will ultimately improve your entire business!

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Full Transcript

On today’s episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast, it is an absolute game changer because today you’re going to learn five reasons why the 50-minute meeting will grow your business. The 60-minute meeting is dead. Long live the 50-minute meeting. Let’s go.

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for practical tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard. (singing)

Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard. I want to say thank you for being here. No matter what you’re doing, the fact that you’re taking some time out of your valuable day to spend it here, to pick up another tip, another leadership skill, another strategy, to go out, become a stronger leader, and learn how to run outstanding meetings, honestly, it’s great to have you here.

And I am really proud to let you know that today’s episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now, there you’re going to find some terrific online training options for you and your team. And there’s some great live training options as well. It’s the kind of thing where I’m in the room and I’m working with professionals, like leadership teams and this kind of thing, and I’m able to take them in a very short amount of time from kind of being almost hopeless about meetings in the way that they’re running to giving them the inspiration and really the attitude shift that they need to turn their meetings into a competitive advantage. And I hope you want to go check that out by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.

And for all of you subscribers, thank you so much for being here. And if you haven’t done it yet, if you really want to dig into every valuable episode, make sure you hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. And I can honestly say that when you do that it is a real opportunity to invest in growing your leadership skills and learning how to run great meetings because you’re going to get episodes like today’s episode. Because today, we’re going to talk about five reasons why the 50-minute meeting will grow your business.

And I have to say that the inspiration for this episode has come directly from the professionals that I train. I hear from them that many of them are booked in back-to-back 60-minute meetings and they go right to the end of those 60 minutes. So, you don’t have time to get in between one and the other. There’s sort of people coming in off into rooms and this kind of thing, and it really makes for a disheveled experience at the end of it. And that begs a really important question, which is this, why does every meeting need to be 60 minutes? And of course, there are exceptions where you have to go for the full amount of time, and often we go over time.

But, here’s the reality. If you started really getting the discipline of booking a 50-minute meeting, could be 45, could be less, whatever that is, but booking the appropriate amount of time for what you need to cover in a meeting, that is a definite game changer. And with that inspiration in mind, let’s jump into reason number one, which is to break the habit. The 60-minute thing really comes a lot from the meeting scheduling software that we have, like I don’t know. You can set out a Google Calendar invite and that’ll say an hour, or something out of Outlook or that kind of tool. And when you actually stop and take a moment to say, “Why do all these meetings need to be an hour long?” and actually start to say, “What are we meeting about and how long should that meeting be?” and when you can shift into this mindset, it will free you up to break the habit of the one-hour meeting.

Which leads us in to the second of five reasons why the 50-minute meeting will grow your business, and it’s this, challenge your calendar. So if you get an invite to a 60-minute meeting, go back to the person who called the meeting and say, “Does this meeting need to be 60 minutes?” And then perhaps you can work with your IT people to start making adjustments on this. Can a 45-minute meeting be called instead? What is the incremental amount of time that’s going to really optimize the use of your time? And you can see where this is going. It’s providing relief in terms of mentality around this idea of cramming people from meeting to meeting to meeting. And when you do this, of course, people can get on to the real tasks that drive the profitability of your business and that’s how it’s going to help it grow.

And the third reason why you and your team should start to consider 50-minute meetings instead of 60-minute meetings is to give yourself a break, as in quite literally a bio snack break. You’ve got to get to the bathroom in between meetings. You’ve got to make sure you got your blood sugar levels right so you can actually pay attention. So, the investment in doing this will actually free up the time to make sure you take care of yourself.

And before I tell you the fourth reason, let me paint you a little picture. Now, I was brought in to do some training with a group of bureaucrats, and they were in one of those places where the meeting room gets booked over and over again all day long. There’s a lot of people working in this building. That meeting room gets booked on the hour. So when people call meetings right up to the hour, a 60-minute meeting, in this case it was a four-hour meeting, the next group is literally waiting outside the door to get in. Now, those people, if you’re even like a minute late, they’re really frustrated because they want to get in there and they want to start their meeting because it’s important to them. And for you, if you didn’t have the discipline to kind of cut it off early, as in 50 minutes, then that room is actually going to be conflict. People are literally walking over each other to make sure people are getting out. People are going in. It’s absolutely absurd. That is a very simple culture shift that can be made in organizations where the room is getting booked back to back.

And the final reason why you want to be able to support this idea of the 50-minute meeting is to empower your people. Especially for those teams and people that are in a lot of meetings, this idea of being able to shake it up and get away from the idea of having to fulfill the hour, it will allow everybody to really kind of feel like they’re taking control of their time. And when they can do this, we know that retention goes up. We know that satisfaction goes up. In fact, your meetings might even become more enjoyable. And another benefit of this is you’re going to make sure you have the discipline to put your material into 50 minutes as opposed to letting it stretch out for that extra 10.

And while all of this might seem pretty obvious, I think the big thing in here is to actually just give yourself permission, give your teams permission, give your entire organization the permission to start to shake up the amount of meeting time and make it actually appropriate to what you’re trying to get done during the specific meeting.

And with that in mind, here’s a quick summary of the five reasons why the 50-minute meeting will grow your business. Reason number one, break the habit. Reason number two, challenge your calendar. Reason number three, give yourself a break. Number four, meeting room bookings are real, so respect them. And finally, and this might be the most important reason, empower your people to take control of their time.

And if you’ve enjoyed listening to this episode, then there’s a few other episodes on the Meeting Leadership Podcast that you might find of interest. Episode 42 is called Why Effective Meetings Start with You, and you can get that episode by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/42. And then on episode 115, it’s called Stop the Meeting Madness: Cut Out Your Worst Meetings Today. And again, that’ll fold in really nicely to what you’ve heard here on this episode and maybe then you can empower your teams even more to take action. You can get that episode by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/115.

I also want to remind you that this episode is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. There you’re going to find great online training options and live training options for you and your team to improve your meetings and turn them into a competitive advantage. Check that out by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.

And I also want to take a moment to let you know about a change to the format of the show. We’re going to go straight to a once-a-week delivery. This is going to really include generally a wonderful interview with a great leader that we can learn from. And because so many of you have actually told me you’re trying to get caught up with kind of the first 130 episodes and all the great content, we’re going to drop the second episode per week where we’re doing a practical tip. And honestly, the main reason to do that is these other episodes are timeless, the ones about how to be a better facilitator, how to improve your agenda. And I want to make sure that we don’t sort of pump out more episodes so that you get overwhelmed. We want to be able to refer back to the ones that are relevant to your meeting leadership sort of development journey, and that’s the way we’re going to do it from now on.

And with that in mind, next Tuesday’s episode features a wonderful guest. Her name is Danielle Lamothe, and she is the vice president of Learning Innovation for the Canadian Society of Association Executives. She’s going to give us everything we need to know about the CAE program, that is the Certified Association Executive program. It is a high impact, cohort-developing, imposter syndrome breaking program that so many association executives have already taken advantage of, and you can learn about it. And the great thing is there’s so many things in this episode that are really solid for all leaders. And I know you’re going to learn a lot from that one on episode 140. And as always, thank you so much for listening. And we’ll see you next time on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies that help you become an outstanding leader. And don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you even more great content. We’ll see you next time, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

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Connect With Gordon Sheppard

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Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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