We’ve all been there. The meeting that goes on and on with no concrete outcome. The meeting that gets hijacked by the most outspoken member of the team. The meeting were people pay more attention to their smart phone than the issues at hand. The meeting that leaves you asking : why am I even here?
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Here are three simple tips to make your next meeting more productive:
Know what you want to accomplish
A meeting should have a clear and well-defined objective. Are you making an announcement? Seeking input into a challenge facing the company? Or is it simply a brainstorming session?
Think about who you need to invite. Is the discussion relevant to them? And do they have the skills to contribute to the conversation? If the answer is no, then don’t waste their time.
Begin and end on time
There’s nothing more annoying than a meeting that starts late and then drags on and on. A written agenda can help keep everyone on track.
Remember – an hour is the longest time most people can truly remain engaged. If it’s not enough, schedule a break.
Establish some ground rules
If your colleagues typically spend more time emailing or surfing the web than focusing on the issue at hand, don’t be afraid to ban technology – or at least insist that it’s placed on the table and out of reach.
And if one person starts to monopolize the discussion, call them out. A simple : “We appreciate your comments, but we need input from everyone before making a decision” should do the trick.
What is your best tip for holding a productive meeting?