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Ways To Make Sure You Have Effective Meetings
“What a waste of time”. You’ll have heard it before or will have probably even said it yourself at some point and you would not be the only person to think or say it.
According to CT Business Travel, employees feel that as many as half of their monthly meetings are deemed a waste of time which, on average, can be up to around 31 hours each month.
If you, like many others around you, feel that your meetings just aren’t getting to the point in an productive manner and that time is simply slipping by then chances are you could do with a few helpful suggestions on how to create the most effective meeting for your team.
So, what exactly do we need to do in order to have an effective meeting? Their latest infographic has taken to finding 9 of the most useful ways that can be immediately put into use in any business and will guarantee a better use of time.
For example, by setting a clear agenda ahead of time will allow each individual member of the team the opportunity to look over and consider discussion points and solutions. This will save up time when it comes to the actual meeting as people will already have a bit of an idea and understand which direction the meeting is heading.
Another suggestion is to have device-free meetings in which any phones, tablets or laptops that don’t need to be in attendance are banned. By doing this you can eliminate the threat of distraction and keep your team focused and composed.
Keeping your meeting to the bare minimum will also help in ensuring an effective meeting as it will cut out the chit-chat amongst wider parts of the team and just involve those who the meeting serves a direct purpose for.
Knowing what it takes to hold an effective meeting will take a lot of careful planning and organisation but once achieved your meetings will be sure to go ahead in a successful and productive manner.
Take a read of the infographic below for some more solutions on how to increase the productivity of your team and to conduct an effective meeting.
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9 WAYS TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EFFECTIVE MEETINGS
When they’re done right, meetings can make everyone’s job easier – just a 5 minute talk can save time and money. But more often than not, they fill up your schedule and feel like a waste of time.
WASTING TIME, WASTING MONEY
- 62 meetings are attended each month by the average employee
- ½ of these meetings are considered to be a waste of time
- 31 hours are spent in unproductive meetings every month
In the US alone, $37bn is lost each year due to unproductive meetings.
HOW TO HOLD EFFECTIVE MEETINGS
Here are 9 simple measures to regain control of your calendar by making your meetings more effective.
- SET A CLEAR AGENDA AHEAD OF TIME
- It always helps if people arrive at a meeting fully prepared.
- Circulating a clear agenda well in advance allows those attending to prepare for it, resulting in focused, productive meetings.
- ASSIGN A MEETING LEADER
- Pick a meeting leader who feels comfortable setting up the meeting and will do a good job of keeping the meeting on track.
- Choose someone who is both trusted and respected by the team.
- TRY GOING DEVICE-FREE
- If possible, try going device-free during meetings to put distractions to one side.
- KEEP MEETINGS BETWEEN 4-7 PEOPLE
- Too many cooks spoil the broth, and too many people make for ineffective meetings.
- It might require some tact, but only invite those with an important contribution to make, regardless of past attendance or expectations.
- ADOPT THE SWISS TRAINS APPROACH
- If your team struggles to meet on time, try settling very specific times and durations for meetings as if they were departing trains, such as 9:23 AM to 9:44 AM.
- Being so specific makes your attendees curious and highly attentive to start and end times – avoiding any waffling.
- SAVE UPDATES FOR EMAILS
- Aside from wasting time, booking meeting after meeting ends up exhausting your teams’ “executive resources” – essentially the gas in the tank for sharp thinking and great judgement.
- If updates can be done by email, then avoid meeting.
- TAKE IT OUTSIDE
- A formal sit-down is all well and good, but if there’s no paperwork involved then why not have a walk-and-talk meeting outside?
- Alternatively, try having one-to-one meetings at a local café for a relaxed, comfortable space to talk.
- KEEP MEETINGS AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE
- In shorter meetings, people tend to focus more – working faster and keeping chit-chat to a minimum due to the time constraints.
- Studies show that people stop asking questions and focus on getting things done, so ideally meetings should last no longer than an hour.
- USE THE LAST 10 MINUTES TO RECAP
- To move forward, make sure everyone is on-board and understands their own action points, and when and how they are expected to respond by.
Collaboration is the backbone of a successful business. Follow these steps to ensure your meetings make effective use of everyone’s time – including your own.