For many workers, meetings are part of the daily routine. Also for many workers, meetings are among the biggest distractions and time-wasters in their workday. Rather than producing efficient results, frequent meetings can often slow a project down. With these tips, you can make the most of your meetings and help everyone have a better day.
1) Limit invitations.
It may be easy to slip into the habit of inviting everyone who may have an interest in the project to a meeting – but this is a waste of time for many attendants. A meeting should have a specific purpose, and only those people who have something to contribute should be there. This will help meetings move more efficiently, as well as free up the schedules of those people who don’t really need to attend. You can always send out a summary email to other interested parties.
2) Set an action-based agenda.
The main purpose of a meeting should be to set up the next steps of the project. Set your agenda accordingly. For each item discussed, decide on an action and who will perform it, and then move on. It can be beneficial to send out the agenda in advance to give people time to think about the issues ahead of time.
3) Try standing up.
Some meetings can be conducted more efficiently if everyone is standing and allowed to move. This keeps everyone more involved and studies show it can actually lead to decisions being reached 34% sooner than traditional meetings.
4) Send a summary.
In an action-packed meeting, it can be easy to lose track of who is in charge of what, and when the due date is. Designate someone as the official note taker, and have them send out a summary of what was discussed, decided, next steps, and due dates to all participants and other interested parties.
5) Leave extra time.
The end of your agenda should include a recap of the meeting to set everyone on the same page. However, you should also aim to end your meetings a few minutes early, to allow for additional questions and collaboration.
With these five tips, you can run efficient and productive meetings that people will be happy to attend.