6 Ways to Make Meetings More Productive
Meetings suck. We all know that. We also know that most meetings accomplish absolutely nothing after sitting through an hour of awkward pauses and bloated egos. Fear not! For we have 6 ways to make meetings more productive (and less annoying).
1. Only Schedule A Meeting When Absolutely Necessary
Meetings are the bane of productivity, so try limiting yourself to only the most unavoidable and necessary situations before scheduling one.
Before you hit the scheduler in Outlook or Gmail, take 30 seconds to stop and think if the issue can be resolved without pulling people out of their offices for an hour. Most situations don’t need to be met about. Try dropping by someone’s desk to ask a few questions instead. Or maybe send a quick email asking people to respond with answers to a few set questions.
2. Decide Who Really MUST Be There
If you absolutely must schedule a team meeting, think about who really has to be there and who can continue doing their work without interruption. Just like most situations can be resolved without a meeting, they can also be resolved with a minimal amount of people.
Limit your meeting to only the brightest minds that are pivotal to project success. ‘Nuff said.
3. Set Strict Accomplishment Goals
Once you’ve determined that you DO need to set a meeting and know who should be there, begin setting strict goals on what must be accomplished during the meeting.
You should outline roughly 2-3 primary goals that should be finalized during the meeting time frame. You don’t want to waste an hour of everyone’s time and have nothing to show for it, do you?
4. Make An Outline
Knowing your goals should help you lay down a very simple outline that should be followed to a “T” when conducting your meeting. We know this may sound a little boring, but trust us, you’ll get things done and get them done quickly.
Outline your primary goals and what you confirm or develop in order to achieve those goals. Lay this out from meeting start to finish and follow it. FOLLOW IT!
5. Stick to the Timeline
We said follow your meeting outline, didn’t we? Well, not only should you follow the outline, but you should also stick to a timeline. If you allotted one hour for your meeting, stick to it. If you reach the hour mark and you haven’t met all of your goals, tough luck buttercup. Pack it up and figure out what you have and what you still need.
Chances are good that anything that was missed can be finished in an email or a quick phone call.
On the flip side, if you finish your meeting early and complete all of your goals….pack it up. There’s no reason to milk that hour meeting if you don’t need it. Pat yourself on the back for being efficient, and go back to work!
6. Get Right Down to Business. Don’t Visit.
Get right into the thick of things if you must set a meeting. Don’t bring donuts or bagels. Don’t shoot the shit about who went out last night and what you’re doing after work.
Don’t dawdle. No one likes it when you shuffle your feet. Get right down to business and get things done quickly, efficiently and correctly. You’ll be happy and your team will thank you.
Meetings can be beneficial. They can be good for your team and your soul, you just have to do them right. So, follow the above six basic rules to making meetings more productive and you’ll never have anyone fall asleep at the conference table again.
Do you have a good, self-learned tactic to keeping meetings on track and productive? Share them with us in the comments below!