No one really loves business meetings, but they are a necessity in most cases for a productive, successful business. They may be needed daily, weekly, or monthly. Despite how often, they are definitely needed on some level.
It is difficult to get the same results over email or by phoning one person at a time, but meetings do not have to be in person. They can be via video chat or conference call and be just as effective.
However you hold meetings with your team, these tips should help the meetings be more effective in a shorter amount of time.
Eat the Frog
The belief that if you get the worst part of your day over with first you will be more productive is not without merit. This is often called “eating the frog.” If you have to eat a frog every day, just get it over with first thing and move along.
While meetings don’t have to be the worst part of the day, most don’t enjoy them and will be glad to get them over with and move on with their day.
Schedule meetings first thing in the morning on whatever day they are to be held. This not only ensures that everyone is fresh, but also that important information gets to where it needs to be before anything else happens.
As a side note, if meetings are held in person, do them standing up. You don’t want folks getting too comfortable if you can help it.
Have a standard procedure for how meetings are to run, and stick with it as much as possible. You should be the one controlling any deviation. For example, the standard meeting plan could be that each person shares their actionable agenda for the day, week, month or whatever time frame you are covering.
If there is going to be any deviation, you need to know about it, announce it ahead of time, and adjust for it.
Make a Plan
Try taking it a step further and have everyone share their actionable plan before the meeting via email or a tame app such as Trello or Asana. Then when the meeting is at hand they can speak up, quickly say what they need to, and others can ask any questions or add comments they prepared ahead of time.
This not only saves time, but can also help ensure that everything is covered that needs to be.
Have a Note Taker
It may seem simple, but it is absolutely huge. Of course everyone could take their own notes, but the thing is, no one will take the same notes. Having a designated note taker that can send out the notes from the meeting will keep everyone on the same page.
The notes should include what everyone said they were going to do, the questions that were asked, responses, and anything else important. The goal is to keep folks accountable for what was agreed upon and said at the meeting.
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