Meetings are a fundamental part of business in the United States; there are about 11 million happening every single week. The type of business doesn’t matter, or whether you work from home or in an office. When the next workday rolls around, you’re going to be in a meeting.
Sometimes, meetings are productive and worthwhile. But nearly 70% of the American workforce says meetings keep them from doing their jobs. Just 11% say their meetings are productive. Unproductive meetings are time-consuming, leaving participants frustrated and drained. This ultimate guide will walk you through the key steps to run productive meetings that yield tangible results.
12 Ways to Run Better Meetings
1. Set Clear Objectives
The first step in running a productive meeting is to define clear objectives. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve through this meeting?” Having a well-defined purpose will help you stay focused and guide the agenda.
2. Create an Agenda
Once you’ve established your objectives, create a detailed agenda. Include topics, subtopics, and estimated time allocations for each item. Share the agenda with participants in advance to give them time to prepare and understand the meeting’s flow.
3. Invite the Right People
Invite only the individuals who are essential to the meeting’s objectives. Avoid overloading the room with unnecessary participants, leading to distractions and reduced productivity.
4. Set a Time Limit
Allocate a specific timeframe for the meeting and stick to it. This approach encourages participants to stay focused and ensures that the meeting doesn’t drag on unnecessarily.
5. Choose the Right Venue
Select a suitable meeting space that accommodates the number of participants comfortably. Ensure the venue has the necessary technology and resources for a smooth meeting experience.
6. Prepare Materials
Before the meeting, distribute any necessary materials, such as presentations, reports, or documents. This proactivity allows participants to review and come prepared with questions or insights.
7. Start on Time
Punctuality is crucial for running productive meetings. Start the meeting at the scheduled time, even if a few people are missing at the start. Waiting for latecomers wastes valuable time for those who arrive promptly.
8. Stick to the Agenda
Follow the agenda closely to maintain focus. Assign a timekeeper to ensure each agenda item stays within its allocated time. If discussions veer off track, gently guide the conversation to the main topics.
9. Encourage Participation
Create an inclusive environment where all participants feel comfortable contributing their ideas. Encourage open and respectful communication. Avoid dominating the conversation, and actively listen to others.
10. Use Technology Wisely
Leverage technology to enhance productivity. Utilize video conferencing, screen sharing, and collaboration tools to facilitate remote participation and document sharing. However, ensure that everyone is familiar with the technology to avoid disruptions.
11. Summarize and Assign Action Items
At the end of the meeting, summarize key takeaways and action items. Clearly state who is responsible for each task and set deadlines to ensure accountability.
12. Follow Up
After the meeting, send out meeting minutes and action item lists promptly. Encourage participants to provide feedback on the meeting’s effectiveness and make necessary adjustments for future meetings. Also, regularly assess the success of your meetings. Analyze whether objectives were met and if participants found the meetings valuable. Use feedback to make continuous improvements to your meeting process.
See How Stellar Staffing Can Help Today!
Running productive meetings is an essential skill for any leader or team member. With these principles in mind, you can transform your meetings into valuable and efficient tools for achieving your organizational goals. Stellar Staffing is committed to the spirit of continuous improvement. We help organizations by providing them with better staff to solve organizational problems. Call us today to find out more.