Each month people spend about 31 hours in unproductive meetings which leads to a loss of $37 billion on salaries for US businesses due to unnecessary meetings. Meetings are often too long, not well planned, without an agenda and just amble along making all participants rush to the coffee machine once it’s over.
It’s time to make changes to the way we approach meetings. Here are 7 quick tips to make meetings more productive.
1. Set the goals
Sadly a lot of meetings start without a clear agenda. Setting a clear agenda before the meeting can help you cut 17 minutes from most meetings . Isn’t that awesome !! Encourage meeting leaders to state their intentions – Go beyond the discussion topics to list the goals you expect to achieve by the end of the meeting.
2. 60 minutes are too long
Why should a meeting be scheduled for 30 minutes or 60 minutes only. Lets try Nicole Steinbok’s shorter 22 minute meetings to get stuff done. Granted there will be times you might want to have a longer discussion but most times 22 minutes would be good enough to wrap up your agenda thus increasing productivity for your whole team.
3. Try Stand up meetings
Stand up meetings are an awesome way to make sure people don’t doze off or spillover the meeting for too long.
4. Do I need to attend this
Always ask yourself if your involvement is absolutely necessary in the meeting before responding to a request. You can always politely ask the organizer if you need to be there. Inviting only essential people makes sure that meeting discussions stay on track.
5. Bye bye Powerpoint
Admit it, there have been times when you have dozed off while the presenter is reading verbatim from the slides. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid presentations just like Amazon staff does. Face to face discussions are way more interactive and effective.
6. No gadgets
Apart from the presenter and note taker nobody else needs laptops etc. Mobiles are a strict no-no as well. This ensures participants pay full attention to the topic at hand.
7. Notes on the way
With shorter productive meetings make sure you send MOM right away, so that the team gets working on the action items ASAP.
Always encourage meeting participants to conduct a self-check before the meeting, so that they can become more aware of the discussion. This is the first step towards mindfulness (Read more about why big companies are investing in mindfulness).
Are there other methods you use to make sure your meetings are more productive? We’d love to hear more about them through your comments below.