The term “meeting” is enough to stress many business owners out, whether it involves 2 people or 20. Meetings have a negative reputation in the workplace as a waste of time, and it’s rooted in some truth. Estimates say a minimum of 30% of the total meeting time is considered “wasted” by participants and leadership alike. If that much time is being wasted, how can meetings increase productivity or help keep employees on track?
The answer is: They can’t. To motivate employees, clearly communicate ideas, and accomplish predetermined goals, you have to figure out ways to have better meetings. That’s what this article will help you do.
Keep reading to learn about the 4 ways to have better meetings that aren’t considered a waste of time and accomplish more than you’d expect.
4 Ways to Have Better Meetings
1. Invite only who’s necessary
One of the first mistakes people make running meetings is inviting people that aren’t relevant to the discussion or topic at hand. Many hands make light work, but when it comes to ideas and concepts, things can get muddled quickly if you have too many people in the mix. Invite only who’s necessary to keep the meeting confined to your time frame and encourage more discussion.
2. Have a goal and plan for getting there
Meetings always have a goal, but sometimes they don’t have a plan for achieving that goal. That’s where you run into trouble. Whatever the goal for your meeting is, write it down as succinctly as you can and come up with a tentative timeline or order of events for the meeting. That way, if things aren’t working out or you need to shift to a new topic, you’ll have a plan in place without wasting time to transition.
3. Share information before the meeting
Sending your employees into a meeting unaware of the topic of discussion will result in wasted time and confusion. You can get around this by sharing information with employees before the meeting – if you have graphs or images you’re planning on showing at the meeting, print them out and pass them around to employees so they can have a look before it’s time to discuss it. It will help your employees be better prepared for the meeting.
4. Be open to cutting it short if things fizzle
Every discussion has an ending point, and you’ll know if it’s happened in your meeting. Excited brainstorming and chatter can drift into a mumble as everyone shuffles around, watching the clock, and eyeing the door. If you see it happening, don’t be reluctant to cut the meeting short. Tell your employees you’ll table the discussion and come back to it tomorrow or at the next meeting. Emphasize that you want meetings to be productive and don’t want to drag them out longer than needed.
There are more ways to have better meetings, but these 4 tips will help you improve your meetings quickly and without making intensive workplace changes. By being better prepared and organized in your approach to calling meetings and running them, your employees will respond by contributing to the discussion and you’ll ensure your meetings don’t go off track.