I don’t recall ever hearing anyone say that they enjoy going to meetings, in fact it’s quite the opposite, many dread the mere thought of yet another meeting.
The problem most often is that people don’t feel that meetings are productive, more so, a waste of time that could be better spent on the many other tasks that they have to do each day.
Yet, meetings are necessary at times and important to accomplishing the goals of your office and your company’s long term vision.
So ……………….instead of dread, let’s figure out a method to improve the outlook of ‘The Meeting’!
Don’t just have a meeting for the sake of having one. Have a purpose for the meeting and make sure that all participants know what that purpose is and what their role will be.
Who should attend meetings? This should be defined ahead of time, invite team members that are directly and sometimes indirectly related to the topic of the meeting. While you may have a set team for each meeting, be open to inviting others should their expertise be necessary to meet the objective of that particular meeting. Nothing stalls the success of a meeting than to close the meeting due to having to get more information from a third party before resuming discussions.
Create an agenda ahead of time and send it to all team members so that they can plan accordingly for the topics at hand. This will enable each to arrive with the necessary materials to make this a productive session. Also, don’t forget to ask your team members for their own meeting ideas as well. A productive meeting should include all ideas not just the team leaders.
Give tasks to team members to research and provide a deadline for feedback. Then make sure that you keep everyone on task by monitoring deadlines …..this includes you the team leader!
Do what you say you would do and ask others to do the same. If not, your meetings never really achieve its objectives, you just keep talking about the same things meeting after meeting.
If this will be an ongoing meeting, why not make it easier for everyone and select a date /time/location with a series of meeting dates so that everyone can add the information to their calendar and plan their work around those dates.
Lastly, when you make your agenda and invite your team members, note when the meeting will begin and how long the meeting will last and then stick to it! Frustrations that are heard over and over are that meetings never start on time, they run over or they merely become chat sessions with no substance.
Now that we’re all on the same page, will this end the thought of the ‘dreaded meeting’…well no, technically, meetings are still an added task to what is seemingly becoming a very challenging work environment but if you can improve the efficiency it will go a long way towards improving the mindset!