Make Your Meetings More Productive

Illumeo Customer Success's Profile

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If there's one part of work that people don't like, it's meetings. While they can be essential to your business, they can also be a huge problem. When employees dread meetings, the meetings are often less productive and less effective. To ensure your meetings are well-received and accomplish their goals, ask yourself a few questions. 

Is the meeting necessary? 

Managers tend to assume a meeting is necessary when it really isn't. Do you need to have a weekly update meeting, or would once a month do? Could the questions you need to ask be answered easily via email or a one-on-one conversation? 

Does everyone need to be here?

There's nothing worse than having to sit through a meeting that has nothing to do with you. Don't ask the entire department to attend a meeting if they don't absolutely have to be there. Only invite the people who need to participate, and you'll see interest in the meeting skyrocket. 

How can I make it memorable?

If you want everyone to arrive on time, choose an odd meeting time. People forget 10 am meetings, but they remember meetings scheduled for 9:53 am. It's unusual, sure. But according to an article by FastCompany, when TinyPulse implemented an odd meeting time, tardiness was virtually eliminated. 

How can I make it more effective? 

Covering the exact same information in every meeting wastes everyone's time, so avoid rehashing the same issues over and over again. Don't allow employees to use their phone during the meeting - not even to take notes. Make sure everyone knows what the meeting is for, so they can be prepared. (And if you have people showing up unprepared? Have a talk with those employees.)

How long does this meeting need to be?

Most people default to setting meetings for 30 minute increments, but there's no reason to. If you think a meeting will only take 20 minutes, schedule a 20 minute meeting. Meetings often end up going longer than they should, so setting a shorter and very specific time can encourage attendees to stay on topic and focused so the meeting doesn't go off the rails. 

What do you want to accomplish?

Don't set too many goals for one meeting. Choose something specific you want to accomplish and focus on it. You can have up to three, but anymore than that should be broken into different meetings. 

Once you've answered these questions, you can set your meeting. And if you ask yourself these questions before every meeting, your attendees are more likely to be on time, productive, and willing to participate. And hopefully, they'll stop dreading meetings.