How to Have More Productive Meetings
How many times have you sat through a meeting that felt like a complete waste of time? Chances are many times!
While meetings are great for sharing work progress and connecting with others, they don’t always turn out to be as productive as you hoped they would be. With a little extra thought and effort, you can start pulling off meetings everyone would want to be part of. Here are a few tips on how to get started!
Follow strict time limits
It’s generally the case that people go over the original duration of the meeting, leaving others feeling restless and annoyed which ultimately results in lack of productivity. For this reason, always ensure to both start and end on time, even if the agenda is not completed yet. If you’ve got late arrivals to the meeting, either politely dismiss them from joining in or otherwise don’t waste time updating them on what they missed, at least not during the meeting.
Logistics-wise, it may not always be possible to organise all your meetings in person but as much as you can, go for them! The whole purpose of a meeting is about connecting minds and ideas and a conference call can never be as effective as a face-to-face meeting in that regard. Indeed, according to one study, 65% of employees regularly do other work during a conference call!
Before sending that calendar invite, think about it… do Tom, Dick and Harry all need to be invited? Possibly no. For more productive meetings, limit the number of people involved and invite only the essential bunch. Additionally, be open to meeting declines, unless that particular person really needs to be there!
Clarify the objectives
Never let your invitees arrive at a meeting without knowing exactly what it’ll be about. By distributing a clear and concrete agenda in advance, you’ll be giving them time to prepare well and once there, focus on achieving the principal objective of the meeting. According to Forbes, by having a statement of achievement for every meeting, you can cut 17 minutes from most meetings- how’s that for a productive meeting hack?
At the end of the meeting, a concrete result of productivity would be assigning specific tasks to the meeting’s participants. This will show that you’re following up on what was achieved during the meeting.
Ditch the boardroom
A boardroom is usually the go-to meeting point for a group, but when you’ve got a one-on-one session booked, why not consider a change of scene? For instance, take a walking meeting for some fresh air, well-needed exercise and also, privacy. On top of that, studies have shown that walking meetings increase one’s creative output by 60%. No wonder it was Steve Jobs’ preferred method of conversation!
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