Meetings: some of us love ‘em, but most of us hate ‘em. Whether it’s being forced to sit through meetings that have nothing to do with you, don’t move the project forward or never end, we’ve all been in meeting hell at one time or another. But with the right planning, these weekly workplace get-togethers don’t have to inspire moans and groans. With a few tweaks here and there, you can learn how to have better meetings. And your meetings can actually be valuable and productive!
Create an agenda template
Not having a plan of approach is the fastest way to a disorganized, unproductive meeting. You need an agenda, but why re-invent the wheel every week? Save yourself work, and set expectations for planning and meeting structure, by creating an agenda template. No time is wasted thinking up what you need to talk about, team members always know what they need to prepare and what areas the meeting will cover.
Set a day and time (and don’t change it!)
Regularity provides focus and sets expectations for your team. Set a permanent day and time so everyone is aware of when the meeting will be and can plan their day accordingly. With a dependable timetable, you’ll have fewer conflicts, less absences and happier meeting attendees.
Start and end ON TIME
Avoid wasting resources by starting and ending your meetings on time—whether or not everyone is there. For those who show up on time and ready to go, you send the message that you respect their schedule. Team members who need to be reminded will quickly understand that lateness isn’t acceptable. Keep the meeting on task, and stay focused on ending on time. If there’s no opportunity to meander or go off-topic, meetings will be shorter and everyone will be back to work in no time.
These suggestions might seem simple, and they are, which is probably why they’re so easy to break. That’s why it’s up to you to stick to them no matter what. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with team members who are more productive, communicate better and who don’t drag their feet when it’s time to go to a “dreaded” meeting!