There are plenty of times when business meetings should be avoided or delayed for the sake of productivity and company morale. Part one of this blog series looked at the top 6 clues that your meeting is unnecessary. However, a meeting is sometimes the best way to get weigh in from colleagues and make a decision. In part two of this blog series, I look at the top 7 ways to make the most out of your meeting…
1. Do you have an agenda? If you haven’t written up an agenda, then you aren’t yet ready to host a meeting. Email the agenda to participants ahead of time so they can prepare themselves and be in the right frame of mind before the meeting, saving time on bringing people up to speed.
2. Have you got a minute taker? Organise someone in advance to take the meeting minutes so you have a written record of discussions and you don’t have to rely on your memory to recall the task list agreed on. Send a copy to all attendees as soon as possible after the meeting so they have a written reminder of the tasks they need to complete.
3. Be the first to arrive. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for a meeting to start because the organiser is late. Make sure you are punctual for your own meetings and others will follow your lead.
4. Stick to your scheduled timeframe. You want meeting attendees to be engaged, not looking at their watches. Keep the meeting brief and don’t go over time. The best way to achieve this is by sticking to the agenda and not getting sidetracked. If you find you need more time for discussions, then reschedule for a later date rather than cutting into colleagues’ time without prior consent.
5. Is everyone contributing? No? Anyone just observing rather than participating shouldn’t be there. Every person who attends your meeting should be contributing to it in some way.
6. Is a follow up meeting required? If so, agree on a date while everyone is gathered. This is much harder to organise once the meeting has dispersed. Encourage your invitees to bring their calendars with them to the meeting.
7. Feedback. The best people to help you improve as a meeting host are those who attend your meetings. Find out if attendees found your meeting productive and ask them for tips on how to improve.
As mentioned in part one, many meetings are unnecessary, although I still think there are times when it is good for employees to get together for camaraderie, even if there is nothing pressing to be discussed. Instead of getting together for a meeting to catch up, perhaps consider something more social and informal like a meal.
How do you feeling about the frequency of meetings in your workplace? Are they mostly productive or could many of these meetings be cancelled without affecting productivity? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.