Walk into any meeting these days and you’ll no longer be greeted with eager, punctual faces. Instead, half of them will probably be buried in their laptop, tablet or phone screens, a few wandering in on their own time and a few more unaccounted for.
Once the meeting finally starts, it will either lack a real agenda or the AV equipment will fail resulting in another ten minute wait.
Done well, meetings can help you make a decision quickly, determine next actions and bring everyone up to speed and on the same page. Done badly, meetings drain organisations of time, money and resources without achieving many (if any) positive outcomes.
We’ve listed four handy tips below to ensure you can get the most out of your own meetings.
1. Stop herding cats
Most employees today have lost sight of how a good meeting should be run. By having a clear agenda, refusing latecomers and creating a device-free zone, people will soon give you their undivided attention. This leads to less risk of miscommunication, more engagement from the room and a faster, more efficient meeting.
Tools like Timebridge and Doodle can help you bring all the right people together and at the same time by providing alternative meeting times, sharing agendas and even sending SMS reminders five minutes before each meeting. No more excuses.
2. Cut the fat
When it comes to meetings more people often leads to worse results. Not only are large meetings more expensive, involving too many people usually means longer, less focused meetings that spend more time pontificating than getting work done, not ideal for THOSE WHO DO. To avoid analysis paralysis at your next meeting ask yourself the questions below.
Do I even need this meeting?
If it’s a department-wide meeting to discuss the new colour of your logo, the answer is no. If it’s a five-person brainstorm to discuss a new project, it’s probably more useful.
Can I do it standing up?
If you’re making a big announcement or only really need a few minutes, why take a seat? Standing meetings also have the added advantage of being relatively gadget-free.
Who should be here?
While it’s great to get everyone in the same room, sometimes it can be a case of too many chefs. The best meetings come to a conclusion quickly and allow the attendees to delegate the work with their wider teams as an outcome.
Who will run the show?
We’ve all been to meetings where it’s not entirely clear who actually called for it. There’s no agenda, no clear direction and no organisation. It’s time to appoint your dictator. They will get the meeting up and running and will steer things back on track if need be.
3. Remote control
Who says everyone needs to be in the same room to have a good meeting? Tools like Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting and FuzeBox make it easy to set up meetings from afar. Plus, it limits stragglers, unnecessary people and motivates everyone to do a bit of research before the meetings.
4. Write it down
A successful meeting should start with a comprehensive agenda and finish with clear minutes. Every person in the meeting should know objectives, responsibilities and discussion points before they’ve even sat down. By the time they’re back at their desk, they should also know all the next steps. Tools like Evernote are always handy here.
Tell us in the comments your favourite tips for getting the most out of meetings.
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