We spend a large portion of our working week at meetings. But how many are effective, productive and contribute to transforming business growth? Many companies start off with great intentions but find that meetings, particularly weekly management meetings, gradually slip into Groundhog Day and are an ineffective use of people’s time.
Having listened to increasing complaints about this we decided to put together some useful tips for you to consider:
- Agenda - All meetings must have a stated purpose or agenda. Every item on that agenda needs a published owner – someone who will present or lead that topic.
- Action - Attendees should walk away with concrete next steps or action items and be held accountable for delivering on them.
- Time - Be clear on the start time and kick off on time. Also be clear on the finish time and stick to it. Putting time constraints in place drives behaviour and makes everyone more productive.
- Attendees - This is not a party. It’s not about people feeling left out. Everyone at the meeting should be there for a reason. The smaller the number, the better the outcome.
- Prepare - Those presenting should have their content prepared and circulated 24 hours in advance to allow everyone time to review it. Reading content is not what meetings are for!
- Flow - Do not shout down initial proposals or ideas. Use open questions, ask for examples, whatever you do don’t block the flow.
- Solutions…not problems - Encourage team members to arrive with at least one proposed solution to their issue. Focus the meeting on debating the solutions not dissecting the problem (which is often well understood!)
Follow this list and transform growth in your business, one meeting at a time.
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