Every Meeting Needs a PAL

For many people, the idea of another meeting is more stress inducing than exciting. In our current work environment, meetings often feel like a poor use of our limited time and result in a long list of action items, on top of the existing to-do list. Ugh, meetings have gotten a bad rep over the years!

However, meetings don’t have to be a bad thing. Talking with others and working in a collaborative fashion can be a great thing for life and work. If you are tired of draining meetings and you are ready for effective and productive meetings, be sure every one of your meetings has a PAL. 

What on earth is a meeting PAL? It’s an acronym for the critical components of an efficient meeting:

P - Purpose. Before inviting someone to or accepting a meeting request, make sure the meeting is even necessary. In this ‘should have been an email’ world, too many people are taking meetings to run out the work clock or look busy. A balanced person does not have time for that! If you are having a meeting, the reason for the meeting should be crystal clear, and actually necessitate a meeting instead of a quick call or email. 

A - Agenda. To accomplish the purpose as succinctly as possible, put an agenda in place. Besides efficiency, having an agenda communicates expectations and relieves stress for all meeting participants. Meeting attendees are able to assemble necessary documents or questions, rather than go in unprepared. 

L - Length. No one enjoys drawn out meetings and none of us have time to waste! Keep meeting participants from eyeing the clock by designating both a start and end time for your meeting. Furthermore, once you set your meeting duration, do your best to stick to the time frame as others have likely planned around that expectation.

Once you have established a PAL for your meeting, be sure to communicate it via email, calendar invite, text message, or verbal discussion. This practice will alleviate stress and boost meeting engagement, without adding more to your plate. Creating a PAL is simple and could look something like this: 

“There will be a meeting on August 25th, from 3pm to 3:45pm regarding next quarter’s sales goals. We will begin by discussing last quarter’s successes, then move on to the upcoming goals. We will talk about how to achieve those goals, and conclude with any questions or concerns.”

So easy. So effective. 

Be sure to get started on those PALs and check out more meeting best practices here.

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