Let’s face it — meetings can suck the productivity right out of a day. In fact, in a survey reported in Industry Week, 2,000 managers claimed that at least 30 percent of their time spent in meetings was a waste of time. Before you call your next meeting, check out our tips on how to run an efficient one:
Be prepared. Preparation is crucial for every meeting — and this goes for both the person running the meeting and those attending. Have an idea of what you’re going to cover before the meeting begins and bring any reports and materials you might need.
Set an objective. Don’t meet just to meet. Have a clear objective of why you’re gathering and what you expect to accomplish. Setting a legitimate objective helps structure the time together. Do you want to brainstorm? Make a decision? Solve a problem? Seek feedback? The key is to avoid an unordered discussion that doesn’t accomplish anything.
Don’t waste time. Before you even schedule a meeting, make sure there’s a legitimate need for one. If what you are trying to do can be accomplished by talking to one person, don’t take up the time of others. Even if your meeting only takes 15 minutes, if five employees attend, then you’ve spent an hour’s worth of your business’ productivity. Set time limits and avoid going off topic.
Be respectful. The purpose of most meetings is to gather and communicate with a team. Meetings are generally not supposed to be dictatorial. This means everyone’s opinion is valuable. If attendees want to speak, they should be heard. There also is a fine line between legitimate feedback and senseless commentary. Encourage employees to avoid rambling, unnecessary criticism and (of course) silence.
Develop action items. Great ideas are worthless if there’s no follow-up. Don’t end a meeting before everyone has a clear assignment of what their next steps should be.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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