If you take a look at your calendar, there’s a high chance it’s filled with back-to-back meetings.
The reality is that we work in a ‘meetings culture’. There are meetings held for everything, big or small. Even pre-meetings held in preparation for other meetings. All this essentially means that you are spending a large chunk of your day sitting…in meetings.
Are meetings a productive way to be spending our time? The debate is endless. Many feel they are a complete waste of time and we spend hours sitting in a room talking about something that could’ve been sorted out in one email. However, others also feel that meetings are vital to team productivity and allow everyone to hash things out face-to-face.
Regardless, meetings are an inevitable part of business. If you are tasked with having to run one, don’t let it become an hour of wasted time for everyone. Consider these 5 tips to running better, more productive meetings:
Keep it short and sweet.
Everyone hates long and dragged out meetings. Be respectful of everyone’s time. Some meetings will need to be long. But most can be kept to under an hour. Watch the clock during the meeting and speed things up if necessary. It’s your responsibility to make sure it is running on schedule.
Have an agenda.
To save time during the meeting, be prepared with an agenda. As the meeting holder, you should have a list of exactly what needs to be discussed. As you go through each topic, check them off. Finally, at the end, ask if anyone has anything else to discuss. This will save everyone a lot of time.
Only invite those who are needed.
The larger the group, the less productive the meeting will be. While it’s nice to get everyone’s opinions, you don’t need it all the time. The more people there are, the most chances there are of interruptions and interjections. Instead, only invite those who are absolutely needed. You can hold a larger meeting to share-out results after the project is completed.
Schedule it at the right time.
No one likes early morning meetings, lunchtime meetings or end-of-day meetings. During those times, people’s minds will be elsewhere and the chances of you being heard will be slim to none. Schedule your meetings at the right time to get the most out of it.
Remember to follow up
What you do after the meeting is just as important as what you do during it. Don’t forget to follow up on action items you discussed during the meeting. Otherwise, people will forget and you will end up having to conduct the same meeting all over again.