Meetings… everyone’s favourite office past time! Whilst meetings can sometimes get bad press; being seen as an insufficient use of time; dragging on for too long and being somewhat repetitive - these bad experiences don’t have to become habit! Many businesses struggle with inadequate internal communications and meetings can play a major role in improving this.
So here are few tips to make meetings more productive.
1) Purpose / agenda.
Be clear upfront about the objective of the meeting and what needs to be achieved. For meetings with high attendance or that is longer than an hour, set out an agenda; it’s easier to keep the meeting on topic and on time. It also allows for people to manage their own time, they may not be needed for the entire meeting and can drop out early to focus on other work.
If you happen to have external attendees or staff from a different division, name badges can help to keep the conversation personal and make everyone feel included.
2) Do you really need an hour?
It might be the default setting on your calendar, but consider if you really need an hour to discuss the topic at hand? If you are clear on what the purpose of the meeting is, it’s often easier to keep the meeting shorter.
Here’s another tip, try starting a meeting at quarter past the hour, it’ll cut the chit chat time!
3) Who needs to attend?
Frustrated by people constantly checking their phones or catching up on their laptops? Chances are they don’t need to be in the meeting. Try implementing the Elon Musk meeting rule, of no more than 4 to 6 attendees unless absolutely necessary.
Would you be ok with people leaving a meeting or dropping off a call early? Better than them wasting their time and dragging the meeting mood down.
For clarity on such project meetings, consider using the RACI matrix (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) – this will further help to ascertain who needs to be in the meeting and who should maybe just be cc’d in on the minutes.
4) Be present
Everyone has other work to be doing as well - so engage, leave your other projects at the door and put those devices down!