We’ve all been there. Sitting in an hour-long informational meeting, listing to waves upon waves of information. At one point it dawns on you, that you and your coworkers are bored, tired and think this meeting could have been an email.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been in some great meetings. The kind where everyone contributes and leave feeling excited to take on their responsibilities.
Meetings should motivate, help align the team and move ideas forward.
The hard costs and opportunity costs of ineffective meetings demand that we try harder. Here are six (6) steps toward more effective meetings.
1 – Do we need that meeting?
If you are merely exchanging information, you probably don’t need a meeting.
Use meetings to develop a plan/idea, work towards a shared understanding of that idea, discuss or exploring the idea. And lastly, with that idea do break down project roles, assignments, and deadlines.
2 – What that meeting needs?
Before inviting anyone to a meeting, make sure there are a clear goal and a shared agenda.
3 – Does that meeting need you?
Before accepting the meeting invite, be clear about why you’re needed and what you’ll give or gain from experience. If you’re not clear, ask the person who invited you to the meeting.
4 – Don’t hold up that meeting!
When two people dominate the meeting for a few minutes on a theme or topic exclusively relevant to those two only, it’s time to move that conversation offline. Some conversations can and should be had within a smaller group.
5 – I can run that meeting!
Rotate the host. Let the host take responsibility for collecting reportable information and setting up the agenda.
Knowing how to run a productive meeting is a useful skill to have.
6 – What Happens after that meeting?
Effective meetings will conclude with specific action items assigned to particular people. This provides increased clarity and shared accountability for attendees.
So make sure to write down information and also ask questions when you are unsure about something.