So, you are sitting in a room full of people at work for a meeting as one speaker rambles on. Only half of those present are paying attention and the rest looked bored out of their minds. When the meeting ends you find yourself wondering; exactly what was the purpose of that whole thing?
Almost everyone who works in an office can relate to this scenario. Unproductive meetings are rampant at workplaces across the board.
Instead of becoming a productive and inspiring session, such meetings use up valuable company time and resources with little to show for it afterwards.
And this is unfortunate, as it would take only a little ingenuity and initiative on the part of a manager to organise and convene meetings that are productive, interactive and result oriented.
If you are the convener of the meeting then the onus of making it an active and engaging process falls upon you.
Here are 5 Ways through which you can make sure that the next office meeting is not a dull and boring affair.
- Keep Objective Clear
Before you even walk into the meeting room, the objective of the meeting must be clear in your mind. Take along detailed notes or a presentation if you need but you should have a clear agenda to present in meeting.
Make sure that during the course of the meeting you are able to communicate effectively the following 3 points to everybody in the room –
-The specific reason for the meeting
-The Goals you wish to achieve or plan towards through this meeting
-The contribution you expect from every participant in the pursuit of that goal
You will be surprised how the drastically the productivity of meetings can be increased by following this simple structure.
- Meetings are Costly, Keep them Short and To the Point
It is often overlooked that meetings are very costly affairs. If 10 members of senior management are going to be sitting in on an hour-long meeting, consider what that one hour is costing the company.
The minutes (that’s right, minutes!) assigned to a meeting should be kept to a minimum and put to good use. Experts agree that 15-20 minute meetings have a far higher success rate than meetings that last for an hour or more.
Think of your next office meeting as a necessary investment of time, money and resources that must be put in to plan for future goals. Make sure you take every precaution to get the maximum return on that investment.
Be mindful that the discussion does not digress from the subject of the meeting and that needless exchanges are kept to a minimum.
- Make Sure Every Person Present in the Meeting Needs to Be There
For a meeting to be effective, it is important that it contains only those individuals who are necessary to it. If an individual does not bring anything to the table then they probably don’t need to be a part of the meeting.
If there are people in the room who simply need to be informed of the outcome of the meeting, have someone draft a memo detailing the results of the meeting and email it to them.
Only those people who can contribute to the discussion and are in a position to offer required solutions should attend the meeting.
- Take Input from All Participants
Make sure every attendee is included in the discussion. Guard against letting any one person, including you, hog the limelight. Ample opportunity should be given to all participants to provide their input.
Present the subject of the meeting and then listen to what everyone has to say.
Surveys suggest that meetings are 20% more likely to be productive, if the guests are given more time to talk than the host.
- Make Sure Everybody Knows What’s Required of Them
At the end of the meeting, it is crucial that every person is clear about the tasks he or she has been assigned and what is expected from each of them. Their role should be made plain to them and everyone should have a clear course of action to follow when they get back to work.
This is perhaps the litmus test of a meeting’s success. If all participants walk away from the meeting having contributed to the final strategy and with a clear understanding of their role in following that strategy, then the meeting has been a resounding success.
Granted, that it is practically impossible to always have perfect meetings. But if the aforementioned steps are followed, chances are, dull and boring meetings will become a rarity in your workplace.