We all know meetings can take a lot of time and energy, leaving little left for the real work at hand. An unproductive meeting can be a vital strain on your time and peoples productivity.
An ideal team meeting should be filled with ideas to inspire creativity, collaboration and productivity. They should be quick and engaging and well-led.
To make sure your team meetings are highly actionable, we have made a list of ideas for you to take on board today.
Create a plan and stick to it
When you think of all the hours spent in meetings and the time-value of those attending them; an unproductive meeting can be extremely frustrating and time-wasting. This is why it’s essential to have a clear agenda and MOST importantly stick to it.
Let everyone know the agenda.
To make the meeting more efficient – send out your agenda an hour before to all attendees – that way, everyone knows what to expect. Letting all of the attendees know exactly what you want to achieve and talk about will help everyone stay focused on the matters at hand.
Tip – pop a short dot-point agenda in the calendar invite, so you don’t forget.
Only invite those who need to be there
One of the most straightforward solutions is only to invite those who really need to be there. Consider who will benefit and who the experts are that need to be there, and invite attendees based on this.
Get your sh*t together before the meeting.
Before you start, make sure to pick the right online meeting tools. Now that many of us are working remotely or working with remote teams, its important to consider which tools will further carry the meeting efficiently and effectively.
Tip – only have the appropriate tabs open if you plan to share your screen.
Start the meeting by sharing your objectives.
Ask questions like “This meeting is to discuss solutions for….” or “by the of this discussion, I would like us to have decided… “. Having a clear idea and purpose will help to generate better ideas and actionable steps.
Keep it short.
Generally, an average meeting lasts between 30 minutes to an hour, but our attention span is closer to ten to fifteen minutes. Not only is it more pleasant for everyone if meetings are kept shorter, but we find it harder to absorb information once we’re fatigued or uninterested.
Wrap it up nicely
Before ending the discussion, take a moment to provide a brief overview of the conclusions you drew and the decisions that were made. Assign action items at the close of every meeting and give people time to ask questions.
Send a follow-up email
Send a brief email to everybody who was included in the meeting. Thank them for their time and then provide a breakdown of who’s responsible for what moving forward – Reinforce the action items that were assigned and provide a due date if applicable.