How frustrating is it… when you spend almost the entire day at work attending meetings, only to leave your work piling up by the end of the day? Almost every company in this day and age relies on meetings to run their day-to-day business, whether these meetings involve internal or external stakeholders. Work meetings that are not managed carefully can not only be very draining but also unproductive.
So not quite looking forward to your next planned meeting at work? Here’s how to ace the meeting:
Set the agenda
This might sound like an obvious thing to do. However, a lot of meetings actually lack a good structure. By setting a clear agenda, all the involved parties will have a clear understanding of the purpose of the meeting and the goal you (and the team) want to achieve. An agenda also helps to guide to the conversation and different topics that need to be discussed – If needed, go as far as drawing up time limits for every specific topic.
When attending a meeting (whether planned by yourself or not), always make sure that you take about 15 minutes prior to the meeting to prepare. By doing this, you are literally warming up your brain, which means your mind will already start processing some of the information – Making you more productive and alert during the meeting.
Take the lead
Sometimes your colleagues (or even clients) might feel quite passionate about a certain topic or policy which can often drag the meeting for hours. Do not be afraid to take the lead. For example, when people start talking over each other, take the lead by directing and steering the conversation so that everyone’s opinion can come across effectively.
Also, some people have the tendency to always go off topic during meetings. And of course, it’s quite difficult to cut off a colleague who starts talking about their amazing holiday. However, don’t be afraid to politely suggest talking about it after the meeting.
Make an action plan
In order to make sure the meeting truly stays effective, take the initiative to make an action plan of the different tasks and roles appointed during the meeting. You can do this by sending a clear email stating in ‘bullet points’ the conclusions made and who is responsible for what activity. To make this even more effective, also include clear deadlines for deliverables.