Meetings play a key role for businesses. They allow teams to come together, collaborate, ask questions, learn, get motivated, the list could go on and on. However, without a clear strategy for better team meetings, they can quickly become disruptive, time-wasters. Here are five tips to help you run more productive meetings!
1) Always Have a Clear Agenda
A clear objective for every meeting is important. But, sharing your objective(s) with participants is imperative if you hope to have a successful meeting. Provide a clear agenda in advance (at least 24 hours) of your meeting. This will allow participants to come prepared with ideas, questions, recommendations, concerns, and updates. Communication is key to success for any business. A meeting agenda drastically improves communication during meeting. Don’t leave your team in the dark. And, don’t forget to stick to your agenda!
2) Use the Right Tools
Don’t waste precious time trying to get tools to work during your meeting. If you’re running a remote team meeting be sure you have the right video conferencing solution, ability to share files with meeting participants etc… When running an in-person meeting you’ll want to have everything setup, working correctly and ready to go. Not one minute should be waisted on trying to get tools to work correctly. This is a time-waster and extremely distracting.
3) Invite the Right People
Meetings can be disruptive to employees workflow. This becomes especially true when people are bombarded with meeting after meeting after meeting. Yes, meetings serve a valuable purpose. But, don’t distract your team by inviting them to meetings that aren’t necessary. Before inviting an entire workforce, department, etc. take time to draft an invite list that makes sense. If you hold regular meetings consider whether or not everyone’s presence is entirely necessary for every meeting.
4) Encourage Participation
A meeting should be a collaboration, not a lecture. If you’re taking employees away from their desk, and halting their work, you’ll need to encourage participation. Otherwise, they shouldn’t be in the meeting. This holds true for all types of meetings. Even if a meetings purpose is to inform, you’ll want everyone to ask questions, provide feedback and demonstrate they understand everything you shared.
5) Follow Up
Without strong follow-up meetings are pointless. Efficiency is important for the success of any business. Be sure your meetings are efficient by providing a wrap-up for every meeting you run. This should include a summary of the meeting, as well as, tasks assigned, expectations, deadlines to meet, and dates for any followup meetings. If necessary, continue to followup and track progress. Then, during your next meeting, provide an update so the entire team has a clear picture of progress made.
How are you running more effective meetings?
Originally published Nov 20, 2015, updated Aug 26, 2020