If you’re like me, you will probably attend what feels like too many meetings every week. Meetings have a purpose and are essential for bringing people together to discuss the important issues. We’ve all been in meetings that have felt unproductive or unnecessary, and it’s often difficult to move things forward as we fall into the comfort trap.
Want to transform the meeting culture in your workplace? Here’s how you can make your next meeting a productive one.
Be strict with time: allot specific times for regular meetings and be strict about sticking to them. Open-ended meetings don’t help productivity and are damaging to the focus of employees. Blue sky thinking sessions deserve a longer period of time, so save the clock watching for the issues that need quick discussion.
Have an agenda: keep staff focused with a straightforward agenda for reoccurring meetings. This not only familiarizes them with the topics for discussion, but also aids preparation and keeps everybody on target. Encourage employees to bring individual action points to a meeting and discussion points for a specific part of the agenda.
Only have the right people: avoid unnecessary distraction by having the appropriate employees at the right meetings. Meetings aren’t a social occasion for staffers to catch up with each other, so nip any of this behavior immediately in the bud.
Give everyone a turn: ensure that everybody gets their turn at the table. Promote the airing of opinion and free speech enabling each individual to contribute to the discussion. This helps to motivate employees, encourages teamwork and promotes a healthy and happy working environment.
Have a clear way forward: end the meeting by ensuring that every employee has clear action points and understands what they should (or shouldn’t) get to work on once they’ve left the room. Send an email after the meeting has concluded summarizing the main points and way forward.
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