Do you find yourself dreading meetings? Are you constantly avoiding attending or holding meetings because you never seem to get anywhere? Every office has this issue, and there are many ways that meetings slip from being a helpful way to communicate and exchange ideas to time wasting energy drains. However, it is important to refine your meeting style because they can be an important part of any office culture. Here are a few ways you can take your meetings to the next level and ensure that attendees get the most out of the meetings you hold.
Banish unnecessary tech from the space
Technology is an amazing way to advance your business, but it can also be a real time waster. If your meeting attendees are constantly checking their phones or reading emails, then your meetings won’t be nearly as productive as they should be for your business. Instead, ask meeting attendees to leave their devices at their desks. Explain that it will help everyone to be more engaged and present at the meetings, which will make them more useful to everyone. You will likely hear some pushback at first, but once attendees catch on to how much more you get done in a distraction-free meeting, they’ll likely see it your way.
Make an agenda and stick to it
People want to know what to expect when they carve out time to attend a meeting. They also need to know if there is something they should prepare to contribute or if they need to ask questions about a certain topic. While preparing an agenda might seem rigid, the impact will become clear over time. You will begin to see attendees who are more prepared for the topics you present. Knowing the basic content of a meeting ahead of time means your meeting attendees will give everyone time to think about the topics and get ready to discuss them. This will mean you get more insightful comments and helpful suggestions instead of springing new content on people and expecting them to come up with innovative ideas on the spot. An agenda will also serve as a record of meeting content in case you need to revisit topics or verify that everything was covered.
Keep your meetings short and valuable
We’ve all been in a meeting that drags on and on with seemingly no point. Whether it’s because the meeting leader wasn’t very prepared or because the subject matter is dull, a long and boring meeting can be a huge hit to your productivity. If you schedule meetings and see the list of attendees declining is longer than those accepting, you might have a reputation for unnecessary meetings. Only call meetings when they are needed. If a message can be properly communicated in a one-paragraph email, then go that route. If it takes more than that, consider holding a meeting but keep it short and informative. Give your attendees a reason to show up and do not waste their time. The more you build up a reputation as an effective meeting leader who respects people’s time, the easier it will be to get workers to attend your meetings.