effective meetings

How to make your Meetings more Effective

Summary: Meetings can waste time and affect productivity. There are ways to make meetings far more effective and less time consuming.

As entrepreneurs, our time is a precious resource.

Meetings can still be effective without being time wasters or productivity stealers.

Here’s how:

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Step 1: Only meet if necessary.

Decide if a meeting is really needed and invite only the necessary people.

Don’t meet just because it is routine – emails or skype can easily serve as quick status updates.

Meet if you need instant feedback from people, if the meeting is important to income coming in, or if you need to have a meeting with a customer to close a sale.

Step 2: Distribute the agenda in advance.

Use a tight agenda to keep the meeting on track and as short as possible.

Structure the agenda and make sure the meeting has a clear goal.

Step 3: Set very, very specific times.

Schedule the meeting to start at a very specific time, like 07h23 or 09h47.

This makes attendees curious and attentive – and they will probably also arrive on time.

Step 4: Assign a meeting leader.

Good meetings are the product of good leadership.

A good meeting leader makes sure the meeting is on track, sticks to the agenda, achieves its goal and starts and finishes on time.

Step 5: Make the meeting device free.

Everyone should switch off their cell phones and tablets to avoid any distractions during the meeting.

Step 6: Encourage 2-way communication.

Ideas should not be dismissed and one opinion should not dominate.

Make sure people get heard during the meeting.

Step 7: Make sure everyone leaves knowing the next step.

Use the last few minutes of the meeting to do a quick recap of the goal that was achieved during the meeting and the action steps each person needs to take.

Step 8: Keep track of things decided during the meeting.

The meeting leader should monitor any task completion that was decided on during the meeting.

Use email to update people instead of holding unnecessary follow up meetings.

Step 9: Let the right people know what was decided and what will happen next.

Make sure your meeting did not happen in isolation and that your ideas and decisions are not forgotten when people get back to their desks.

The relevant people should be kept informed as to what was decided and the next steps planned.

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  • Felicia

    I am ADHD and I can’t stop talking! My meetings go on and on and on and I always end up spending more time than I should at each meeting which makes me work longer hours. Thank you, these points should help.

  • http://www.how2forentrepreneurs.com How 2 for Entrepreneurs

    Thank you for your comments Felicia. Yes, a lot of people talk more than necessary in a meeting. The aim is to be short, sharp and to the point so as not to waste time and kill productivity.