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Less blah blah and more ka-ching: More impact, less meetings

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

How would you use an extra two months and a few extra thousand if you were offered them?

If you’re an executive or business leader, you may already realise that much of your time at work (40-50% on average) is spent in meetings.

But did you know that this equates to 23 hours per week, of which, 7.8 hours are unnecessary or poorly run, totalling 2 months of your precious time, completely wasted.

TED research estimates this could cost businesses upwards of $1000 per hour in executives’ salaries and up to $75m in losses for Fortune 50 companies.

With many companies going remote and managing teams across multiple countries, the need to connect people is stronger than ever which can often translate into; more meetings!

How do we protect our time and resources and recuperate those two months and thousands in salaries lost whether you are remote or in-office?

Create a filter: to meet or not to meet?

By creating a meeting filter using a few simple questions, we may be able to save ourselves a considerable time:

Is it absolutely necessary to meet?

Can we achieve the outcome individually / independently?

Whose skills and knowledge are required?

What’s the opportunity cost of pulling colleagues off task?

We often have our default decision-making process on, meaning more doing and less thinking.

Let’s switch it off.

A little more thinking before doing.

Engage vs Entertain

You’ve run through your filter and yes, a meeting is absolutely necessary to achieve the desired outcome.

We now have a (virtual) room of people whose attributes and roles are vital to achieving the goal.

This is where you would usually start telling people what to do. Not anymore…

Embracing the lecture-style leadership communicates that you have all the answers and everyone else is to follow suit.

Why didn’t you just fire an email out instead?

Bringing the team together should be about eliciting the answers and ideas from them.

Create two-way communication between team members to actively engage them in the solution process, keeping their attention sharp and the meeting productive.

Whether you are brainstorming, eliciting ideas roundtable, discussing in focus groups or other, you are ensuring everyone is contributing.

You are turning unproductive passive meetings into active participation.

Refrain from lecturing from the front. Lead from the middle and coordinate interaction between those around you.


With these new routines in place you’ll be quickly reducing the number of meetings and increasing active participation and output. One final consideration is allowing the meetings to flow without your facilitation.

By following a communication framework encouraging participants to engage amongst themselves, you can quietly step back and monitor the discussion, stepping in where necessary.

Make this common practice and share the framework for reference and transparency.

Creating autonomy can eventually support your absence from some meetings altogether, confident that your team knows how to conduct and conclude their time together effectively.

How are you going to spend those two months you get back?


PS When you are ready to take increase your impact as a remote leader and inspire your team to reach the next level, book a call with me.

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