How to make your meetings the most productive
Ensuring team meetings are worthwhile is beneficial for everyone, for you as the business owner and for your team to ensure their time at work is being used in the most efficient way possible.
Remember, it’s not just the time of the actual meetings that takes up time in the day. It’s the preparation for the meeting, be it online or in person. If it’s in person it’s also the getting to and from the meeting. Plus the time either side of that meeting where everyone attending needs to get back into their ‘flow’. The flow is the sweet spot when you’re in the (you guessed it – flow) of your work. And it takes time to achieve the flow. The more interruptions in your day, the less flow.
Here are our top tips on how to make your meetings the most productive:
Define the purpose of the meeting
This helps everyone understand why the meeting is taking place and ensures no time is wasted.
Ensure someone leads the meeting
This ensures all voices are heard, all points have been covered, and that the meeting doesn’t steer off-course.
Consider the people attending
The more people attending, the bigger the drop in productivity. Make sure that the decision makers are also in the meeting so they are fully aware of the plan.
Allocate tasks at the end
If no one knows who’s picking up what at the end of the meeting, it has not been successful. Ensure everyone knows which part of the plan they’ll be working on.
Share relevant documents asap
After your meeting, it’s common you might have mentioned something that you plan on sharing with someone else. Ensure you do this promptly post-meeting, not 3 days later because you forgot!
It’s all well and good discussing the plan and ensuring everyone knows what they’re doing, but what about deadlines? Don’t forget to ask about people’s current workload so expectations can be managed amongst current priorities.
The most senior person speaks last
If you’re the business owner, or managing director, speak last. This means you’ve heard everything that everyone else has to say and you slot in with them, rather than them slotting in with you. As they’re the main hands working on client projects and workloads, this works as a great system in many business meetings.
Ask open ended questions
Don’t steer the meeting with closed questions. Leave the floor open with open ended questions, and if there are issues, remember it’s the business against the issue, not a singular individual within your organisation. Ensure attendees feel confident speaking about achievements as well as difficulties they may be facing.
Start and stop on time
It’s tempting to let meetings run over when it’s an internal company meeting. If there’s a particularly important issue or topic that is being discussed, it’s not a big deal to run over. But if there isn’t, ensure everyone’s time and expectations are expected by having the meeting start and stop on time.