Sometimes it seems as if we're always meeting. Because last-minute business travel and WFH days happen. You might not reach full agreement, but that’s okay. It’s okay to start the meeting by setting the expectation that everyone is 100% focused on what’s going on in the room. Effective Meeting Strategies: 6 Tips to Run an Effective Meeting. The meeting leader sets a positive, productive tone for interaction among the meeting participants. “Oh, but I can focus on the topic at hand and check my email at the same time,” some might say. Someone is assigned to keep track of minutes and the agenda. Organizing and running successful meetings with a human touch is the real key to effective meetings. There’s the tendency of the scribe getting distracted by pop-ups and notifications on the device. But there are ways to run effective, efficient meetings that leave your employees feeling energized and excited about their work. Being … You crafted an agenda designed to achieve the goal. (Just how long is “too long” and how deep is “too deep” is up to you as meeting facilitator to decide.). Draw out the introvert toward the end of a discussion by asking whether they see points the group hasn’t considered yet. To run an effective meeting, you’ll need to plan ahead, … An effective meeting, on the other hand, combines efficiency and thoughtfulness. Every ten minutes or so, do or say something that will re-ignite their interest. This guide will walk you through some ground rules to help you organize and run productive meetings. Some types of meetings are legit, while others aren’t. But time is not the only thing that is wasted. It involves carefully and thoughtfully selecting the right group of people, for the right purpose to deliver tangible results that will add value to the organization. Scheduling the meeting at optimal times of high energy. Besides, for every person with a laptop open, there’s a person sitting next to them distracted by their typing or peeking to see if they’re actually just cruising Facebook. These stories will show you how to grow your skills, make your own path, and become the best version of yourself. Include your agenda in the invitation so people can determine whether they really need to be there and, if not, decline the meeting or suggest someone else. For a meeting to meet this outcome, or objective, you have to be clear about what it is. If you’re trying to solve a technology problem — then inviting the marketing team to the meeting is entirely unnecessary; you only need to invite the tech guys. Carefully select only those individuals who should attend. You should also make sure that the invitees of the meeting come with diverse perspectives, especially if it’s a strategic planning meeting or a brainstorming session. Q: What is the first step to conducting an effective virtual meeting? Unless you’re the scribe (or note-taker) — your electronic gadgets should be silenced and put out of sight to reduce distraction and enable both you and those around you to concentrate. It’s because efficiency doesn’t care that much if the right people attended the meeting for the right reasons; or if the meeting added any real and tangible value to the business. Some of the ways you can encourage active listening include, You’re probably already familiar with this Mark Twain quote —“A dull pen is better than the sharpest mind.”. Your meeting agenda might have just one item. If one person starts to dominate the meeting, ask them to take over the role of capturing notes on the whiteboard. Effective meetings are important to your business to ensure that employees are aligned with your expectations and working efficiently. Plus, we’re less likely to be distracted by a looming list of tasks for the day. Win-win. By contrast, we solve problems best later in the day when our minds are a bit tired. (for recurring meetings) Are we holding this meeting on the right cadence? It’s important to distinguish between effective and efficient. A: The first step to conducting an effective virtual meeting … This means that in it, you achieve a desired outcome. There are very few things that are as annoying as someone scheduling a meeting and sending out an invite with no indication as to what will be discussed in the meeting — leaving the invitees clueless as to why they are at the meeting in the first place. Click to tweet. Instead, focus your energy on the real ingredients that make for effective meetings: purpose, engagement, safety, and results. Effective teamwork means agreeing to trust each other enough to rally behind the decision once it’s been made. Examples include team or project retrospectives, brainstorming, and one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports. Getting rid of technological distractions like laptops and phones (we’ll get to that in a moment). Continuous improvement for the win! Taking notes during meetings is not just a good habit, but a necessary one. Furthermore, workers consider roughly half of their meetings to be a waste of time, and 73% confess to sneaking in some real work during meetings. Better to cut a discussion short than to leave loose ends dangling. Sadly, there’s no magic formula for balancing cost against the potential for creativity. We’re all aware of how addictive these tech gadgets and their applications can be. Wrong. “But I can concentrate on the meeting while checking my social media or by email,” some might argue. It’s about involving the right people, having a purpose or goal for this time, making decisions (and action items to … It might also be beneficial to use a note-taking app to make sure that you don’t miss anything. The team at Trello does this if even one person is remote. Starting and ending your meetings on time not only builds your integrity as a trust-worthy timekeeper. In reality, … There also is the problem of senior managers taking the helm and coming up with ideas and contributing to a meeting. You might be surprised by what really matters (and what doesn’t). To summarize — hold a meeting only when necessary. It can include things like brainstorming new product ideas, analyzing results for the past quarter, and action steps to take moving forward. It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing meetings as the one and only way to collaborate, but that knee-jerk tendency is what gets us into trouble and gives meetings a bad name. The fact that you’re still reading means you’re committed to running a great meeting. Meetings … Effective meetings are interesting, high-energy events where team members work together to make decisions or solve problems. Plus, nobody likes being the giant head on the TV screen at the front of the room. If you have to make a decision — you need to press the team harder to make a decision or recommendation so that action steps can be set and taken at the end of the meeting, rather than let them off the hook with a “maybe,” or a vague decision. Using this knowledge — you can engineer your meetings so that in the first 30 seconds of the meeting, you can share the most interesting points of the meeting to arouse the interest of the attendees. If not, who should/shouldn’t be included in the future? Your job now is to take advantage of that diversity by making sure everyone is (and feels) heard. When you schedule a meeting at a certain time — you have to begin the meeting with those who are present and let anyone that’s late stand till the end of the meeting. … 47% of workers complain that meetings are where productivity goes to die. During the meeting, be inclusive, and assign the next action steps to be taken after the meeting. The key is making sure … An Extra Tip — You can actually make the scribe take note the old-fashioned way — with a paper and a pen, or on a whiteboard, rather than with a laptop. The same electronic gadgets we carry around these days that help make our lives easier and also have the ability to make us more productive at work — are also the biggest and most dangerous distractions that we have today. Effective meetings are collaborative. Okay, statistics nerds, here are a few gems for you. You see, as much as it’s excellent to hold efficient meetings, efficiency is more of a superficial quality than anything else. A bit of divergence goes a long way when you’re looking for creative ideas, puzzling through solutions to a problem, or exploring options. And this will be very helpful for invitees who were unavoidably absent but still need to inform them about the meeting discussions. Chances are, the meeting will be more successful this way. Effective Meeting Management. Keep an ongoing, open dialogue amongst the people you meet with most frequently, and emphasize progress over perfection. Questions like “Why do we think that’s true?” or “Can you expand on that?” or “How could we measure that?” demonstrate humility and curiosity on your part, which sets the tone for the rest of the group. They can also make you feel like your schedule is overflowing with meetings. Having clear, concise, and well-defined purpose, goals, and objectives ensure that discussions in the meeting center on essential factors that will lead to the overall growth and well-being of the organization. Ideally, you need to assign the role of the note-taker to someone before the meeting (typically when you’re sending out meeting invites). (And what is a group of people in a meeting, if not a temporary team?) To make this even more efficient, designate time-blocks that allocates a certain number of minutes to each of these topics to ensure that no important topic is left out. If you happen to notice one person unnecessarily dominating the discussions of the meeting and talking more than his or her fair share, call that person out. How long “too long” is, and how deep “too deep” is, is up to the facilitator to decide). It’s especially true for recurring meetings, as this will help you figure out how frequently these meetings need to be held. You might even have the entire group join remotely from their desks. (More on DACI in the Atlassian Team Playbook, including a silly video starring yours truly.). Same goes for knowing whether to hold a meeting in the first place, and what to do afterward to make sure it wasn’t a waste of time. Collaboration brings the best in people and allows them to contribute and share. Be mindful not to meander off-topic for too long or dive too deep into technical discussions. An Effective Meeting is one where it’s objectives where accomplished within the stated timeframe. When meetings become demonstrably more effective, they spread a virus of energy and optimism across … According to John Medina, a molecular biologist and author of Brain Rules: “You’ve got 10 minutes with an audience before you will absolutely bore them. When everyone is on the same page and aware of what should be done, even the most challenging tasks can be completed. The chances are that on any given day, your schedule is chock-full of them. He is also the host of The Career Insider Podcast and the co-host of The C.A.R.E. It transitions them from talking mode to listening mode and gives others a chance to speak. You have to regularly track these action items to make sure that some progress is being made. We think that they both mean the same thing – they don’t, and you must know the difference. Meetings help people … Once you’re sure that a meeting is necessary, the next step will be to create clear, concise, and well-defined purpose, goals, and objectives. That’s unfortunate. It’s imperative because when people find themselves in meetings where they can’t make any reasonable contribution due to lack of skill or expertise, or that the topics to discuss are irrelevant to them, they’ll see the meeting as a waste of their precious time. You don’t have to put a specific brainstorming exercise on the agenda, but you do have to make the group feel comfortable expressing non-conforming opinions or offering up off-the-wall ideas. Meetings are very important to the growth and well-being of any business. Unfortunately, the reverse seems to be the case. If you’ve done a good job gathering a group with diverse knowledge and perspectives, everyone will be “the odd one out” in one way or another. Another way you can tackle such a situation is to hand over the responsibility of taking notes to anybody that tries to dominate the meeting. Sharing the meeting agenda in advance helps you get straight down to business, as it will give the attendees the time to familiarize themselves with the discussion points. Include a 5-minute agenda item at the end to capture any open questions or follow-up tasks and assign owners for them. Not only that, but the result is then shared with others whose work may be affected. It’ll make you think twice about your attendee list! It’s because it serves as a written record of your discussions, decisions, and the next action steps to follow. It’s prep time: Create and share your meeting agenda 1. Although employees can communicate with one another in an organization in many different ways, business meetings — if they are conducted the right way — can be incredibly effective and efficient. It can be tempting to scribble down some points on any sheet of paper and call it your agenda to get it over with. In the best-case scenario, a meeting’s purpose is to make a decision or create something collaboratively. Few things are more irksome than the person who sends a meeting invite with no indication whatsoever of what will happen in the meeting, and therefore invitees have no clue as to why they’re being invited. Did we have the right people in the room? Encourage the lone representative from Finance to share how the decision would affect her team. Effective meetings are imaginative, participative, innovative and engaging. Sharing information should never be the sole purpose of holding a meeting, with the notable exception of department and company all-hands meetings. Meetings in your organization are supposed to be a cooperative and not contentious. What is an effective meeting? You can begin by writing the topics you want to center your discussion on in the meeting. They produce ideas, give direction, strengthen bonds and renew vigor. Understanding how to run effective meetings is one of the most crucial skills employees at all levels need to learn to thrive at work – but it isn’t merely a matter of doing the obvious things like sharing an agenda and starting meetings on time. At the same time, businesses cannot devote endless resources. Don’t skip this! Was it easy for you to contribute to the discussion? Here are some extra tips that can help you run productive meetings. If you’re doing meetings right, they are where “real work” gets done. At the end of the meeting, the scribe can then take photos of the notes and share it with everyone, including those that were unavoidably absent. These note-taking apps also make it easier to share the meeting agenda, discussion points, and the action items with all the attendees. March 13, 2019 John Keyser Efficiency, Leadership, Success Factors 0. Meetings are vitally important – if done well. Effective meetings add real value to companies. A “parking lot” on the whiteboard is an easy way to capture ideas, topics, and questions that are out of scope for the moment and keep the meeting moving along. An effective agenda increases the productivity of the overall meeting because it establishes expectations on what needs to occur before, during, and after a meeting. Identify the purpose and goal of the meeting It puts everyone on a level playing field and encourages more balanced participation. Get best practices and sound advice on how to create understanding and work together better. You have to be mindful of drifting off-topic for too long or going too deep into technicalities. Crossed wires and missed connections - good communication among teams is tablestakes for effective teamwork. The Importance of Effective Meetings. It says nothing about whether the right people were in the room for the right reasons, or whether the meeting generated any value for the business. 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