According to research by Atlassian https://www.livecareer.com/resources/careers/planning/workplace-meetings-2022-statistics the average employee attends 62 meetings per month and considers half of them to be a waste of time.
It does not have to be this way and can easily be made more efficient and effective.
Here are my 5 steps to a great meeting and outcomes from the meeting.
1) Send Out Agenda & paperwork out in good time
Ideally sent the agenda, past minutes and any paperwork needed a couple of weeks before the meeting. This gives everyone a reminder of the action points they need to complete or have a n update on, gives time to read the paperwork and lets them know what will be discussed at the meeting.
Also have spare copies at the meeting as somebody always forgets to bring their meeting paperwork.
2) Know Your Stuff
If you are running the meeting or speaking in part of it make sure you have researched your content, rehearsed your content and have copies of supporting documents ready for the meeting.
You soon lose your impetus and concentration of the attendees if you are trying to remember what you have to say or cannot find the text you want to quote or don’t have the handouts to pass round at the correct time.
3) Encourage attendees to Engage
If you have invited someone to a meeting, then it is best to involve them. Nobody likes being talked at for hours at a time. Find out their thoughts, concerns or nuggets of knowledge they may have on your topic. They maybe a junior member of staff but they may have that next multi million pound product idea bouncing around their head.
4) Keep It Short and Sweet
Attention spans are not what they were and like tv shows that were once films maybe shorter more frequent meetings maybe better than one very long meeting.
Always where possible end at the stated time because if you run over people lose concentration and instead of listening, they are thinking what they are going to have for lunch, will they still get a hour for lunch as it is now officially their lunch break or if you are lucky they will be think about work they could be getting on with.
5) Set Actions
Agree what the action is and who is going to complete it and also agree date and time of the next meeting.
Follow this up as soon as possible with a copy of the minutes with the above information being circulated as a reminder who is to do what and when and when the next meeting is before people forget and then they can put the date in their diary and be an accountability buddy for the person who was given a task at the meeting to give more change of the task being completed before the next meeting.
Further reading available via my blog post 5 Things To Do In The 5 Minutes Before A Meeting at:-