Are you wasting so much time in unproductive meetings? If yes, then you need to read this blog. Learn how you can maximize your meetings and achieve your goals as a team!
Have you ever sat in a meeting and silently told yourself, “What a waste of time. I could have completed a lot of tasks already.”
If you have experienced this before, then, you’re not alone.
The truth is that a lot of people feel the same way.
Meetings tend to waste a lot of time and could slow down a team or even the whole company.
A lot of researches have found that meetings are eating up a huge chunk of time and NOT accomplishing much.
This is something you don’t want to happen.
The sad thing is that meetings would continue to waste your time unless you do something about it.
So, how can you correct this?
Let me share with you five of the best strategies to ensure you and your team will have a productive meeting.
Strategy 1: Set strict time limits
The first thing you need to do is ensure that the meeting starts on time.
Ask the participants to come earlier like 5 minutes before the said meeting.
If not, it will create a ripple effect that would surely spill over to your next activities during the day.
When you set a schedule, make sure you stick to it.
Use a timer if you must.
When there are only 5-10 minutes left, start to wrap things up.
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Strategy 2: Send out agenda ahead of time
One huge problem in a meeting is the lack of agenda.
Sometimes, people simply gather together without any concrete idea of what to talk about.
That’s a recipe for a doomed meeting.
You need to actually write down your agenda and not simply recall them from memory.
This gives you a clear picture of what should be discussed and what should not be included in the meeting.
It is exponentially helpful as well if you send out your agenda ahead of time to those who are involved.
This helps them prepare and ensure the meeting runs smoothly.
Since they already have ideas prepared, they can quickly share that during the meeting.
Practice the parking lot method.
If something comes up in a meeting that is not originally part of the agenda, put it on your parking lot list.
Of course, be sure to follow up on that during the next meeting.
Finally, all these would be useless if you don’t stick to your agenda.
Make sure that what is said and done during the meeting is part of your planned topics and issues.
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Strategy 3: Be clear on action items
Your meeting would be more productive when people walk away with a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
That’s exactly what a productive meeting wants to achieve.
During the meeting, discuss a particular topic and decide who will take care of that specific task.
Identify people who will do the follow-up decisions made at the meeting.
When your teammates know their responsibilities, the job they need to do, and how accountable they should be, then everyone would be more committed to what was agreed during the meeting.
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Strategy 4: Invite the right people
Some top companies limit attendance to up to 10 people.
Having a lot of people in one meeting can simply drag things longer than expected.
Make sure that the people included in the meeting are the same people who are really needed to be in that room.
In some cases, meetings could waste people’s time especially if the meeting can actually proceed without them.
Moreover, it is equally important to have the key people involved.
For example, if a manager or executive isn’t present, your meeting would not produce the desired results as the key person who makes significant decisions is absent.
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Strategy 5: Keep it going
If you want to have a productive meeting, make each second count.
You should only talk about what’s necessary.
If you are the facilitator, don’t let any dull moment to happen.
Don’t let any individual talk for a long time.
Give each person a specific amount of time to speak.
Moreover, be alert in identifying things that have already been said so you avoid any repetition.
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Have a super a productive meeting
We all know that it’s easier said than done.
All the strategies I mentioned are effective, however they are nothing until you actually practice them.
It is understandable that you don’t perfectly apply all the points mentioned above in your first meeting.
But the key here is consistency.
Try your best in following the strategies discussed in this article each time you have a meeting.
When you do, you will eventually see how productive your meetings have become with the strategies above!