More that 10 million meetings occur every day in the United States alone, so there’s no denying that meetings are a very important part of the corporate world. But despite that, a lot of people do meetings wrong and end up losing money through lost productivity or even worse, unclear goals.
It’s always a good idea to let people know the overall details of the meeting but it’s also important to provide relevant documents or information that would help everyone come to your meeting prepared. Sometimes a meeting might require research and for your attendees to have some time to gather their thoughts and ideas. It also cuts down on time spent running people through information that everyone could already be aware of.
Know your objective
The biggest mistake people make when calling a meeting is having a poor agenda or not having one at all. Without a good agenda or a facilitator to keep things on track people can go off topic and not add anything of value to the meeting at all. This becomes one of the major reasons why people consider meetings a waste of time.
Make the objective of the meeting clear before you start. That way people are able to come prepared and know what’s necessary to make it successful. With the material you’ve given your attendees, having a clear objective will also allow them to come into the meeting with any concerns they may have going forward, which can be answered easier.
Invite the right people
Cramming the room with as many people as possible doesn’t always accomplish the best results. The more people you have, the more likely it is that people are going to take the meeting in the wrong direction, be afraid to contribute or feel like they can afford not to pay attention. You might also be keeping a lot of people from doing important work that will end up costing you time and money in lost productivity.
Instead it’s about getting the right people who can contribute the best to your objective. These are the people who are most relevant to the problem at hand, whether they’re working on the front lines or overseeing the team that will be solving a problem. Having the right parties present also lets you communicate more clearly with the right team and ensure that they’re on the right track.
Provide key takeaways
It’s all too easy for people to come out of a meeting and go about their day without actually putting anything they’ve learned to use. This comes down to the facilitators. At the end of the meeting, provide your attendees with some key takeaways and goals. Clear tasks help give a purpose to your meeting and people can leave it with something tangible to take back to their desks.
You can also have someone tasked with taking notes during the meeting and putting together a contact report to send out after. This way all attendees have a written record of what needs to get done. This can also be used to track progress for future meetings.
Ineffective meetings can kill productivity and be a waste of time. But with the tips listed above, you can make sure your team can make the most of their time and tackle goals with more direction.