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Meeting get a bad wrap sometimes in our society. Especially in the age of Silicon Valley startups, where people are expected to get things done quickly without spending much time in discussion, meetings are considered hindrances that slow business down. Why waste time in meetings when we can just get to work instead?
I think many of us misunderstand the purpose of meetings. A list of assignments and responsibilities can be typed up and send out in an email. We don't have to meet to go over who is responsible for what and when certain items are do. All of that can be done in a more efficient manner. The main purpose of the meeting, in my opinion, is to build unity in the team.
When we don't meet with one another from time to time, we grow distant. We cease to see ourselves as part of a team and, instead, begin to see ourselves as individuals working in the same space. When we spend a few minutes to interact with one another and share ideas, we form a sense of cohesion that cannot be formed through an email or an office memo.
How often should we have meetings? In his book The Advantage, management expert Patrick Lencioni recommends four different meetings: A daily five to 10 minute checkin-in, a weekly hour-long meeting, a monthly meeting lasting two to four hours, and a quarterly off-site review. As the meetings get longer, they get more in-depth and cover more strategic issues.
However, often and for however long you decide to meet with your team, make sure you are doing it. By not getting together, you lose something essential for holding your team together. In the end, it's really all about strengthening your culture. And, if you're never together, you won't have much of a culture to strengthen.
David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at email@example.com.