There are good meetings and there are bad meetings. The ones you leave motivated and the ones where checking your watch becomes an Olympic sport. We’ve all been in both and no one prefers the latter.
So instead of leaving your employees or clients memorizing the serial number on their watch or wishing they were watching paint dry, here are some tips to make your next meeting a success:
- The Objective- Ask yourself a few questions: should you have a meeting at all? Could you send an email instead? What’s the purpose of the meeting? What do we hope to accomplish? The purpose for a meeting can be boiled down into two areas: to communicate something or to learn something. Decide what your goal is and don’t stray from it. The more concise and to the point the meeting is the better.
- Use Time Wisely- Who needs to be there? “Anyone who isn’t directly contributing to the intention is effectively a Meeting Tourist and should be ‘rerouted’ to more productive work. (Don’t worry. Usually, they’ll thank you. ),” said David Pearl, author of Will There Be Donuts? Also consider the date and time- is it near a big deadline, a holiday, etc. that could affect attendance or productivity elsewhere. Does the meeting need to be held every week or could it be every other week? Rethink the need— “Just two hours a day of ineffective meeting adds up to SIX YEARS of typical career – lost,” says Pearl.
- End and Start on Time- Again, don’t waste time. As the saying goes, “time is money.” Starting late builds bad habits. Employees won’t come on time if they know they don’t have to come on time. “Here’s one solution for late starts: a friend worked at a law firm that started fining partners $100 if they were late to a meeting, which turned out to be very effective. If the meeting has to run long, say, ‘We’re not through with the seven points, so can everyone stay fifteen extra minutes to wrap up?’ That way, people know that the end is in sight,” says Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project.
- Hand Out Paperwork Beforehand- Simple enough. Handing out powerpoint slides and agendas AT the meeting waste time (See #2 & #6) while everyone looks it over. Give handouts pre-meeting so everyone is ready to hit the ground running.
- Involve Everyone- We all know every meeting has “the talkers” and “the quiet ones”. If they’re at the meeting they should have something to contribute or they shouldn’t be there in the first place. Learn how to draw hesitant people out. It just might be that they are quiet because they’re brainstorming the next great idea or solution.
- Never End a Meeting Without Action Points- Clearly summarize the take-away points and assign action items to the appropriate person. That way everyone has a clear picture of who’s responsible for what when the meeting is over.
If you need help planning your next big event or meeting, let Ellos Global help. Ellos manages events with a “Whole-Concept” approach. Considering all facets of making an event or meeting a success from the initial concept to the end production, we will brand your event creating awareness and excitement.