If you notice your associates yawning and reaching for the Redbull or fiddling with their Smartphones in the midst of your meeting it is a clear sign that something is amiss. Some see business meetings as a waste of time, but that does not have to be the case! We've highlighted a few key strategies that will assist in the execution of a more productive business meeting.
Be in Control
A well-facilitated meeting has a person who controls the discussion. This leader should be designated before the meeting begins. The next step is to develop meeting guidelines; these guidelines will help to limit the amount of time and effort wasted. An established leader aids by being a final decision maker, if there are inconsistencies amongst the team, and moves the meeting along. Without the leader the meeting can be a conversation that just keeps running in circles.
Discuss, Debate and Decide
All members of the team should be allowed to discuss the issues at hand. When facilitating a meeting incorporate time to hear your employee’s point of view. If forced to have side discussions, team members will distract from the meeting and derail the decision making process. The leader should be in charge, but should not be the only voice heard. New ideas and business strategies can be discovered when team members are allowed to discuss freely.
You can end a meeting, think everything went great and you’ve got the ball rolling. Days later, you realize nothing has been accomplished beyond the initial discussion. It is important to take action and follow up on tasks assigned during the meeting. The best thing to do is to close the meeting with a review of everything discussed and create task list and timelines for those involved. The best decisions in the world are pointless if they are not put into action.
Don’t call a meeting to order just because it’s Thursday and you always have a meeting on Thursday. Make your business meetings have purpose, whether virtual or face to face. With these suggestions your meetings can be much more productive and time efficient. No more grumbling Mr. Curmudgeons when you call your meeting to a close.