Luke covers blockchain trends on Forbes.
In every study about workplace productivity, meetings consistently top the list as the most unproductive part of every job. While meetings are obviously an unavoidable fact of working life, how come we all still suffer through so many terrible ones? Surely there must be a better way… right?
Well, it turns out there is a way to hold better meetings. If you want them to be more efficient and productive, there are a few simple things your meetings need to be.
Holding a meeting just for the sake of it is the epitome of counterproductivity. They take up everyone’s time, often for longer than required, which could have been much better spent on other work.
So never call a meeting without thinking about the alternatives. Can the same information be distributed via email, text, or phone call instead? The only reasons you should ever need a meeting is to convey important information simultaneously, to identify or brainstorm problems, or make decisions.
When inviting meeting attendees, always make sure to only include those who 100% need to be there. The fewer people you have in your meetings, the more productive they become. By limiting people in the room, you can keep your meetings structured so that desired outcomes are easier to achieve.
Also, you should also never feel obligated to attend a meeting because you’ve been invited. If someone from your team is already invited, ask if they can represent you. Meeting efficiency and productivity are both far more important than hurting someone’s feelings by excluding them.
Include a prepared agenda for the meeting so invitees know what the focus will be, which needs to be much more specific than vague. If you’re unsure about how to run an effective meeting, it’s an important skill you can learn via an online course.
A well-designed agenda that clearly states the meeting’s reason provides participants with enough time to research and prepare themselves in advance. So that when everyone is in the room, they all understand why they were invited, what to expect during the meeting, and how they should contribute.
Time is always an extremely valuable commodity for any business, so you should always have precisely set times to start and finish. Always start promptly on time and never make exceptions for anyone, even for yourself. If anyone arrives at a meeting late, never apologize for starting it on time.
Simply tell them what stage or item number the meeting is currently discussing so they can be easily updated on whatever they missed afterward. You should also leave some buffer of five minutes at the end of each meeting to allow everyone some travel time between bookings. They’ll always appreciate it.
For a few years now, almost anything in business can be completed online within the digital space. Including meetings. Especially after COVID-19 now that everyone knows what Zoom is. Otherwise, there are obviously other programs or apps available which easily allow you to bring your team together virtually on screen.
You can even go old school with a conference call using a phone service. While virtual options won’t replace every meeting, it’s perfect for when everyone’s clashing schedules make meetings in person impossible. Remember that meetings are more productive if they’re convenient for all attendees.
The more you prepare in advance for each meeting, the more productive they will ultimately become. And simply by building a company culture where employees enjoy meetings due to their productivity and efficiency, they’ll become a valuable aspect of your business when information must be exchanged.
Who knows? Maybe meetings will become the best thing about each workday.
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