The LOVE for meetings. I'd say this is not usually the case. The look, walk and talk of someone, or even a whole team, dreading a meeting, is something we have all seen before, maybe even often. But it does not have to be this way. Let's work on learning to LOVE meetings because we make them lovable and productive!
Here are a few things that I have learned which help make meetings more effective and productive:
1. Start the meeting on time. This sets the tone for professionalism and keeping on task. And it shows respect for one another's time.
2. Only invite people to the meeting that need to be there. If Stacey just needs to know one thing or you just want to keep her in the loop, she doesn't need to be there for the full hour. Let her know you are respecting her time and will fill her in on the pieces relevant to her work.
3. Opt for shorter meetings. There is this phenomenon where if you allow for 2 hours, the meeting will take just that long, or miraculously in a 45 minute meeting you get the same work accomplished. Somewhat unconsciously, we stretch for the time allotted. So keep meetings short, with a tight agenda and an eye on the clock, and you'll find that you are congratulating one another for the effective and succinct meeting!
4. Who is running the meeting? Decide this beforehand. This person should manage the agenda and the time to keep the conversation on track. She/he should keep a list of "future agenda items" as topics arise that should be discussed at another time. This does not have to be the same person for each meeting.
5. Assign tasks or actions during the meeting and re-cap those at the end. Who is doing what? Make these decisions when together-- don't leave it with only "we need to..." Assign specific tasks to individuals. These action items should be reflected in the notes to keep people on track.
6. End the meeting on time. People are busy. They have another meeting, have to pick up their kids or are trying to finish a project. You are losing their attention as the meeting drones on and on. Be organized and respect people's time.
7. Fun. Have some. You can be effective and timely and still share laughs. Share a pertinent comic, a funny story, snacks (you will blow people away if you bring in something homemade), fun stickers or pens, etc. You will hear people breathe and that's a good thing!
Effective meetings are not easy. These articles below offer some useful tips to help develop this skill. Share with your team as well!
KS Solutions offers meeting facilitation, as there are times where an outside facilitator is needed for the most effective meeting. Call us, we are happy to help.
Resources for You:
- How to Design an Agenda for an Effective Meeting
- Eight Steps to More Effective Meetings
- Make Every Meeting Matter
- How to Lead Effective Meetings
Happy Valentine's Day!