So you need to have a meeting? You’re probably imagining the glazed look in your team members or coworkers eyes right now. Or even worse, the impatient glances at the clock as everyone wonders whether the meeting was productive or even necessary. After all, you’ve been one of those people with wondering eyes and attention too. It’s no wonder that recent surveys show that meetings are the top productivity killer in today’s offices.
There’s no need to worry, though. There are ways to run effective, efficient and productive meetings that won’t be deemed productivity killing. These four tips can help you to be that person in the office who runs the best meetings:
- Have a Reason for the Meeting
The first step in holding great meetings is to make sure that there’s a legitimate need for the meeting. Holding a meeting just to hold a meeting makes attendees feel as if you don’t value their time. When you have a clear reason for a meeting you can be more efficient and productive. Whether you need to update team members on changes in company policies or want a working meeting to solve a problem, having a distinct goal in mind will make things run smoothly. It will also ensure that only the people who really need to be at the meeting are invited.
- Create an Agenda
An agenda is the roadmap to your meeting and makes sure that you hit all of the points you need to. After writing out your agenda, send it to the attendees so that they have an opportunity to look it over and think about any points or information they may have to contribute beforehand. This gives everyone a heads up as to what will be discussed and can even provide ideas for input from those in attendance should they feel an important aspect of what’s being discussed hasn’t been brought up.
- Stay on Schedule
The third step goes hand in hand with your agenda. Make sure you stay on schedule! Your agenda will help you with this, as you’ll have a valuable outline of everything you want to bring up in the meeting. Allotting a certain amount of time per agenda item will also keep your meeting on track and prevent the dreaded “never-ending meeting” from occurring. In fact, your agenda should also include a schedule to ensure the meeting lasts for no more than an hour.
- Follow Up With the Group
The fourth step in being the best at running business meetings is to send a follow up email within 24 hours of the meeting. This ensures that everyone is on the same page as to what happened during the meeting afterwards. This email should detail who was assigned what tasks, project deadlines and any decisions or information discussed.
Never Bore Your Business Associates Again
By following the above tips, you’ll earn the respect of your employees, coworkers and business associates. While meetings may not be fun, the people you meet with will know that you respect their valuable time and that there is a real reason for meetings you call to occur. This will ensure you have their full attention which, at the end of the day, is the most important thing for you to capture from those you’re planning on meeting with.