It can be pretty easy to bash meetings. They can feel like interruptions in your already jam-packed day, highlight the incompetency of others, and if over-used breed a culture of decision-making paralysis. Yet productive meetings keep you moving forward.
This is why meetings still happen: they can be really helpful when used effectively.
Today I’ve compiled 10 quick tips for you on how to make meetings even more helpful, productive, and less annoying at both the individual and team levels.
Develop your personal meeting policy
One of the best ways to create more productive meetings is to develop your personal meeting effectiveness.
- Start by questioning every meeting invitation and every impulse to hold a meeting. Only agree to those that are absolutely necessary – with a clear objective and agenda.
- Delegate meeting attendance to others on your team. This is a great way to develop those who report to you.
- Consider when you prefer to have meetings. The morning? The afternoon? As much as possible, funnel your meetings into certain days or parts of your day when they work best for your time and energy.
- Pad your meeting times to include prep prior to the meeting and time to download your takeaways and action items after the meeting.
- Just because you schedule a meeting for 1 hour doesn’t mean it needs to take an hour. Timers can help meetings stay focused.
Develop your team/organizational meeting policy
A lot can be done at the team or organizational level to develop a responsible and productive meeting culture.
- Does your staff know when they need your permission vs. when they can move forward on their own? Clarifying decision-making criterion can go a long way to eliminating meetings.
- Do you use meetings to brainstorm, discuss options, or make a decision? Often people come to the table with different objectives for the conversation. Share the objective and necessary data in advance to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Check into cloud-based team productivity software like Asana, Trello or Basecamp to eliminate the frequency of status meetings.
- Explore “no meeting” days or half-days when the entire team or organization is focused on their own work.
- Stand-up meetings (where no one actually sits down) or walking meetings can help shorten meeting duration, eliminate derailers, and tighten the focus of your meetings.
- Bonus tip: Check out Chatalyst a cloud-based meeting software that makes scheduling real, focused meetings a snap.
What are your productive meeting tips? Join the conversation on Facebook here.