Did you have a meeting today?
It was one of 25 million meetings that are held in the United States every day. Did you know that 15% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings? Most are unproductive too. According to The Muse, it’s estimated that more than $37 billion each year is spent on unproductive meetings.
The Innovation Station wants to assure you have a productive meeting so here are 6 tips to productive meetings.
Prepare an agenda. The agenda must define the purpose. Before the start of the meeting, ask yourself, “what exactly are we meeting about?” The answer to that question provides a constraint on the way you think about the meeting.
Make sure the right person or people are in attendance. In order for meetings to be effective, a key person, such as a team-lead, project manager or executive, should be present. If not, significant decisions may not be made, leading to more meetings. Make sure to gather all responsible parties together, and move on to our next tip.
Manage the clock, start on time, and end on time. Determine in advance how much time should be dedicated to each agenda item, then watch the clock and as the allotted 10 minutes pass, conclude the discussion.
Create and stick to an agenda. Utilizing a “Parking Lot” can help keep off-topic ideas and discussions not related to the purpose of the meeting from consuming the meeting. By establishing a “Parking Lot,” you are able to show that these topics, and more importantly the people asking/discussing the topic, are still important, but perhaps not pertinent to this meeting. A “parking lot” allows the meeting manager to “park” a topic and keep the discussion on topic. “Great idea Aaron. That topic however goes beyond purpose of this meeting. I will park this idea but include it in the meeting notes so we can revisit it at another time.”
Don’t finish any discussion in the meeting without deciding how to act on it and who will be responsible for the action item. Also, set a due date for each task. Assigning tasks and projects as they arise helps to keep the meeting organized, and gives attendees a purpose for attending.
Don’t be afraid to evaluate your meeting process. Take a few minutes after your meeting to review your process. Additionally, you can meeting ask attendees after your meeting: What worked well in this meeting? What can we do to improve our next meeting? Beware that you are not overly critical or too persistent. No one wants to be interrogated following every meeting about the effectiveness of said meeting.
With well-planned and implemented meetings, your meetings can be more productive. Follow these six recommendations to ensure that the attendees realize positive, constructive outcomes. The organization will move forward, and your coworkers will learn to not dread meetings (as much).
For information on how the Innovation Station can help you with your next meeting or event, take a look at our space. We offer multiple options for meeting and event space rental.