If you’ve ever wondered why your working days fly by with little actual work getting done, then you need to take a look at how many meetings you’re attending regularly. Meetings are the secret time wasters of everyone’s working life; particularly, it’s the way meetings are run that makes them less than useful. How many times have you run or attended a meeting that barely answered the problem posed?
Unfortunately, the typical meeting is just not that conducive to productivity and creativity – but it’s not all doom and gloom. There are more than a few ways to improve your work meetings to ensure that everyone leaves with their questions answered, a plan of working, and within the set timeframe. Below are a few tips, tried and tested by LEO, that are guaranteed to help you hold more productive meetings.
Create a Meeting Plan
Creating a meeting plan might just be the little trick that turns meetings into the power-hour problem-solving opportunities they were always meant to be. Effective meeting plans should include all the points you’re wishing to cover during, even if it seems pointless and obvious to write those points down. Hand out copies, or distribute digitally, to all participants to create structure and some formality that tends to be missing in more casual working environments.
Run the meeting according to plan, steering the discussion back to the talking points. Some points may become irrelevant as you talk things through and they can be crossed out but endeavour to not add any extra as this is what causes meetings to overrun and derail.
Schedule with Care
We’ve all attended enough meetings to know that Monday morning meetings tend to be a little dry and interspersed with chat about the weekend; Fridays are more of a slow-burner, with added fatigue of the working week. Scheduling meetings is an art form as it’s all about striking the right balance between deadlines, levels of tiredness, and any other tasks your employees are doing at any given time. Research has found that there is an ideal time for meetings: Tuesdays at 3 pm. The psychological reasoning behind this seemingly random time is that it’s early enough in the week to not interfere with deadlines and a time when employees report feeling most alert.
Maybe it goes back to our days in schools but asking ‘Does anyone have any questions?’ at the end of a meeting tends to produce the kind of radio silence that would befall a classroom full of kids. Some employees may not have the confidence to speak up, fearing that their questions are too simple, and many others will be desperate to get to their lunch or coffee. This is precisely why creating accountability is paramount to productivity.
Once all the talking points of the meeting are covered, go around the room and ask every employee for an actionable item or next steps they will take following your meeting. Encouraging everyone to speak out loud will ensure that a satisfactory level of alertness is maintained throughout the meeting whilst for management, it’s a good opportunity to check whether the meetings are fruitful for all involved. Keep it quick and casual, asking employees to provide the actionable summary in a few simple sentences; consider jotting these down and revisiting next week to track progress.
Planning the perfect meeting is never going to be easy and there’s a lot of trial and error before you find the formula that suits everyone equally. Nevertheless, every meeting should have clear boundaries like start and end times, alongside firm talking points which should reduce chatter and straying off-topic. If you’re ready to try out some of the above advice and run own productive meeting, then book a luxury meeting room with LEO today.