Meetings are an essential element of an organisation. Skills to ensure an effective meeting is imperative in the business world. If not run correctly, it is a costly expense for productivity, motivation, and strategy. There are many tactics to deploy or to run effective, efficient meetings that can help create meaningful and actionable outcomes.
Here are eight useful productivity hacks that will help you become a pro at planning and managing business meetings.
1. Try A Huddle Rather Than A Meeting
If your team or colleagues collectively sigh when it is time for a meeting, try a huddle. These types of get-togethers are short and require a rapid fire check in with each team member. It allows a quick report of progress and it’s ideal for sharing quick updates.
2. Keep the List Short
Instead of attending a meeting, some people could be just fine receiving an e-mail or a call with a summary of the information. It is commonplace in organisations to invite individuals just in case they may have something to add to it. Only invite people who have something to contribute or who really need to be involved in the discussion.
So next time you want to book that conference room ask yourself: “who really needs to be there?” “Is this person vital for the session?.” The shorter the guest list, the more productive time around the company. Even Jeff Bezos has a “two pizza rule”, stating he doesn’t have a meeting where two pizzas can’t feed the entire group.
3. Make the Objectives Clear
Your meeting needs to have a purpose and help resolve problems and create new opportunities
According to a recent survey, over 47% of people think that meetings are the biggest cause of time wasting at the workplace. It’s common for some companies to schedule meetings, without having a clear objective. Your meeting needs to have a purpose and help resolve problems and create new opportunities.
4. Be Prepared
Sending an agenda ahead of time (at least 24 hours before) helps to keep meetings focused. Also, sending a summary of the topics to be discussed, gives the group or your colleagues time to be prepared and it helps to decrease wasted time.
5. Keep it Short
Many studies show that the average attention span is between 15-20 minutes. To make sure everyone in the meeting is engaged and guarantee efficient outcomes you want to try and stay within this range.
6. Start your Meeting At An Odd Time
Instead of setting your meeting at 9:00 am, set them at 09:10 and start it right at that time. Establishing an unusual hour means you won’t have to wait for people who always take extra time to arrive. Starting punctually will minimize tardiness, and save time.
7. Plan a Finish Time
An ideal meeting should be no longer than an hour. The whole purpose of a meeting is to discuss an agenda. Preparing (and sticking to) a timeline will make sure that all topics for the discussion are covered. Planning a finish time can also increase scarcity which can help ensure individuals make their point in a concise manner.
8. Follow Up
It is not uncommon for individuals to walk away from a meeting with a totally different idea of what was discussed. In order to avoid this, send an outline of all the action points within a day. It can also highlight the responsibilities and any assigned tasks that must be completed. This will reassure that everyone is on the same page.