Did you look at your calendar this morning only to see four meetings scheduled? While meetings are important for communication and accountability, they can also be a waste of time when not managed properly. This is a huge problem for business because if a meeting isn’t informative, it can also effect morale and erode productivity.
To ensure your meetings are effective, Promotional Consultant Today warns you to avoid these meeting blunders.
Lack Of An Agenda Or Not Sticking To One. The top three rules for Toastmasters are to start the meeting on time, end it on time, and always have an agenda. This rule should be true for business meetings, too.
Having an agenda is not only a simple courtesy; it also tells attendees that the meeting has a goal and will be productive. An agenda gives the meeting facilitator control over the meeting’s flow, keeps the meeting on task and reduces confusion among participants. Realize that the agenda does not need to be elaborate; a simple bullet list of topics is all you need to prepare.
Remember to send the agenda out a day or so before the meeting so attendees can prepare. And if you forget to send it out early, bring copies of the agenda to hand out when the meeting starts. On meeting day, stick with the agenda. If a topic comes up in conversation that is not on the agenda, offer to address that topic after the meeting. This way you keep the meeting on schedule and don’t derail the meeting’s purpose.
Lack Of Facilitation. Some people mistakenly believe that meetings run on their own—that all you have to do is get a group of people together in a room and they’ll automatically produce good results. Wrong! Getting the people together is the easy part; leading them in a productive discussion takes skill. That’s why solid meeting facilitation is so critical.
The facilitator’s job is to control the flow of the meeting, to help attendees work together, to provide structure to the meeting and to get everyone involved. When attendees are allowed to have their cell phones ringing during the meeting, when one or two people are permitted to dominate the conversation or when it’s acceptable for key people to not contribute to the discussion, good facilitation is lacking. Therefore, make sure all your meetings have an effective facilitator at the helm.
Can you think of some additional ways to make meetings more productive? Share with us. PCT will be back tomorrow with more meeting pet peeves.
Source: Jean Kelley, author and entrepreneur, is the managing director of Jean Kelley Leadership Alliance, whose faculty and trainers have helped more than 750,000 leaders and high potentials up their game at work in the U.S. and in Canada.