Some business leaders love them, and others hate them. However, meetings are often necessary for any number of reasons, from regular coordination to keeping team members motivated.
No matter your feelings about meetings, we can all agree that shorter, more effective meetings can benefit any business by increasing the time available for production.
Eight Techniques For Efficient Meetings
Many busy business people have back-to-back meetings scheduled at least one day out of the week. While this is often necessary, it can be an exhausting, stressful, and inefficient way to do things. Instead of running meetings the same way as one has always done, we hope you will take a moment to consider making your meetings more productive with these tips:
Discuss and coordinate outside of the meeting as much as possible
This does two things. First, the number of discussions possible outside of the meeting is limited as you have a deadline: the actual meeting. Second, hashing things out in advance provides time for more thoughtful discussion during the meeting.
Try a standing or walking meeting
Standing or walking meetings decrease the ability to get distracted by things like texts or emails. Additionally, they are statistically more likely to be shorter than your average meeting.
Map out an agenda in advance
Create an agenda that limits the time your group can spend on a specific task or topic, and assign the job of “meeting monitor” to someone who will ensure the agenda is followed to the minute.
Clearly define the meeting’s purpose
The longest, least productive meetings are those that don’t have a clearly defined goal. Be sure to share the purpose of the meeting when inviting team members to attend, and then again at the very beginning of the discussion.
Create start and end times and stick to them
Reduce unnecessary chatting or long-winded rants during a meeting by sticking to the stated start and end times. If items need followup or more thought, assign tasks during the last five minutes of your meeting to make sure production results from this gathering.
Make participants accountable
Involve each attendee by ensuring they have action items and tasks with deadlines by the end of the meeting.
Meetings in which each participant is heard and understood are more productive than those in which a lead speaks the entire time. Be sure to budget some listening time and hear input from other team members about the issue under discussion.
Ask one or two team members to be meeting accountability partners. During team meetings, these individuals keep the meeting goals in front of them and help steer the conversation back to the meeting topics anytime things go awry.
Harnessing the power of meetings can boost productivity in your business. Discover how you can improve your efficacy by taking our leadership assessment. Click here to get started.