Meetings can either be great organizational tools or tremendous time sucks. How productive the meeting will be is up to the meeting organizers. A properly organized meeting with a clear purpose can help take your schedule from wholly booked up to full of completed tasks.
How to Make Your Meetings Efficient and Effective
- First, ask yourself the big question. That is: do we need this meeting at all? Some meetings can be avoided entirely by utilizing group chat or a group email.
- Define your agenda. Don’t call a haphazard meeting. Set up a plan with clear objectives and make sure each team member is coming to the table ready and willing to accomplish your stated goals.
- Give everyone a time limit. This can be done both as you predefine the intended length of the meeting and throughout the conference. If you have a thirty-minute meeting scheduled with six people, theoretically each person has five minutes to talk. Make sure attendees understand this time limit.
- Don’t wait for late arrivals. Too many meetings last far too long due to late arrivals. Creating a company culture where meetings begin and end on time will ensure team members come into the conference room ready to tackle their agenda and have a productive get-together – rather than a long, lazy meetup.
- Make sure everyone invited to the meeting needs to attend. It often happens that someone who could have been cc’d on the minutes instead gets asked to attend the full conference. Keep your attendees down to the core group of people who are really needed to fully hash things out and send an email to everyone else.
- Agree upon a rapid-fire approach. When going through idea sessions or asking for a presentation, request it be done rapid-fire. That is, give the meeting attendee a time limit for their presentation and have another attendee or the meeting organizer time it. When the one-minute mark is reached, let the attendee know to wrap things up. This can also be done during brainstorming sessions. The rapid-fire approach makes attendees think about what they will say in the meeting beforehand and get everyone thinking on their feet.
- Set aside a place for “tabled” discussions. Additional or unrelated ideas or comments often come up in meetings. Set aside a place on your whiteboard or create a separate chat for those thoughts and ideas so that they can be taken up at another time or among other team members.
The key to a productive meeting is excellent organization and well-communicated goals. This allows everyone to prepare and provide the right information for your meeting, during your meeting time.
Are you looking for more organizational strategies – or are you hoping to build a better, more effective team? Contact Business Success Consulting Group today!