Have you ever calculated how much money is being wasted by the dozenth pointless meeting this month? Or do you get the impression that the moment you turn on the projector the entire room tunes out?
Meetings dominate the business life in America today. The National Statistic Council states that 37 percent of employee time is spent in meetings. According to other data there are 11 million business meetings every day. Bad meetings are not just dreadful, but a waste of valuable time.
Making meetings better is not just solved by ordering lunch and coffee. Productive meetings require a plan of action, employee engagement, and on target communication.
First off, if the transfer of info is one way then don’t meet. Status reports and business updates can be sent over email easier than setting up a meeting for the entire staff. Before the meeting, send an email out with details of the meeting’s objectives and the agenda. Additionally, paste the agenda on the email otherwise no one will open the attachment and they’ll all come unprepared. Sending out an email beforehand also allows the naysayers to make objectives in advance, so the meeting will take less time. Distribute the agenda at the meeting, as well as email, so everyone can keep on target.
Increase the involvement of the meeting by assigning everyone a role or assignment. Roles such as timekeeper, note taker, and whiteboard handler will help engage coworkers that might otherwise be daydreaming or surfing the Internet. Also, assigning roles can take some pressure off of you and allow the meeting to run smoother. Another method to involve coworkers is to assign groups to explore an issue in their area and prepare ideas and solutions for discussion. This will allow the group to engage by solving problems together.
Show your colleagues that you respect their time by always starting and ending on time. The agenda can assist with ending on time by keeping you on track. In addition, make all members of the meeting feel heard. This can be accomplished by making eye contact with everyone and keeping track of every idea. Finally, end with a plan. Everyone should know what is expected of them and when. End the meeting by receiving input and asking members if they thought the meeting was beneficial, and what can be done better next time.
Adapted from, CBS Money Watch, How to Run an Effective Meeting, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-51061211/how-to-run-an-effective-meeting/