Whether your department is big or small, meetings are important. Meetings in general tend to have a negative connotation since, frankly, they are often a waste of time. Meetings that are thrown together at the last minute without much structure can drag on and become full of irrelevant information for all attendees. These tips are designed to help you structure meetings so that useful information doesn’t get lost and proper input can be shared.
What is an Efficient Meeting?
Meetings are intended to be a time during which coworkers can brainstorm together, think critically and creatively, share ideas, and give updates to each other. An efficient meeting isn’t determined just by running on time. Other important goals for meeting should be to resolve conflicts, create better decisions together, and for members to be recognized and heard.
• Set a meeting length
• Be on time
• No food
• Stick to the topics
• Invite only required participants
A quick meeting intended to be 15 minutes can easily end up being over 45 minutes. It happens all the time, and meetings can go off track faster than you may think. The meeting should start with a time limit, and attendees should be on time. A helpful tip is to not partake in formality greetings when conducting short meetings. They can easily lead to side topics or go nowhere, both wasting time.
Make sure there is a defined topic. When the meeting invitation goes out, make sure only the people necessary are invited and give a brief description of the topic that will be covered. It is important for attendees to know their roles in the meeting, such as whether they will need to give an update to the group or listen and take notes. An entire department doesn’t necessarily need to attend a corporate status update meeting. It’s useful for managers to go so they can email others in their department about information that may be of interest.
Although food always makes a meeting more interesting, it should be reserved for longer meetings. Food can cause a mess and create a time-wasting distraction.
Get more done in less time by hosting efficient meetings! Do you have any tips about meeting efficiency you’d like to share with us? Post a comment below.