Don’t you just marvel at people at work who talk about the books they read and what they learned? You think, “Good for them, they’ve got time to read. . . but I don’t.” Yes, time is certainly a factor but what’s one of the best ways to make time? Make a commitment to others and meet regularly.
In other words, create a business book club!
Being a member of a business book club is the easiest, most fun way to get you to read while infusing your brain with usable information. (You can also adapt this information for starting a casual book club with your friends.) Setting one up is easy if you follow these simple parameters:
- Ideal Size: 10-12 (knowing that only 8-10 will probably make it on a regular basis)
- Meeting Frequency: Once a month at the same time (i.e.1st Friday of the month)
- Suggested Meeting Length: 30-60 minutes before work begins or over lunch (after work creates high levels of attrition)
- Location: A quiet and private conference or meeting room
- Fees: Just the cost of the books
- Refreshments: optional, pot-luck or bring- your- own
At your first meeting, decide what types of books you want to read. Then talk about ground rules to include the responsibilities of members such as reading the book (!), attending meetings, absentee policy, judgment-free participation guidelines, guests, etc.
Every meeting should have a designated facilitator who reminds members of the upcoming meeting, leads the discussion, monitors start and stop times, and encourages dialogue from all participants. The facilitator can stay the same or rotate among the members.
That’s it! As you continue to meet, go with what works and abandon things that don’t. As a result, you will be more interested in reading, more interesting to talk to and more well-informed!