How Long Should a Meeting Be?

 

How long should a meeting be?

In schools, we’ve had a standard answer to this question. The usual time in my experience is sixty minutes. Maybe, forty five minutes or even thirty minutes.

The length of the meeting always seems to be the same from one month to the next.

It often signals that you’ve got exactly the same amount of standard information and typical content to share as you did last month. Even if you don’t have anything meaningful to share, information might often be tailored to the given time frame.

Maybe, just maybe, we don’t have to answer this question in the traditional manner.

How long should a meeting be?

It could be 7 minutes. Or 9 minutes. Or 47 minutes. Or 13 minutes.

It should be as long as is necessary to accomplish the purpose for meeting.

That’s right. You should have a purpose for meeting. Not just a scheduled meeting on purpose.

First, determine your reason for gathering others together in the same space.

Then determine a reasonable amount of time to accomplish the goal.

Decide who needs to be there to accomplish the goal. Think small. No need to invite everyone if you only need three people to fulfill your purpose.
Start with the realization that each meeting should have a unique purpose.

Don’t ask: How long should a meeting be?

Ask: How long should this meeting be?

 

Rich