Meetings are never meant to be longer and heavier. A short and crisp meeting is always appreciated and here are few points to make your meeting a success.
Never schedule a meeting without an agenda.
The biggest blunder in human era, after letting Cartoon Network fade away, is conducting a meeting without an agenda. What has to be done is to figure out the agenda way before the meeting commences and share it with the attendees. This will give time for them to prepare their answer, do some study and also saves your time of explaining what the meeting is all about. Even if it a last-minute meeting, make sure to fill the attendees at least 30 minutes before the reminder hits them.
Say no to lengthy discussions.
When your calendar says, ‘AHM - 3.30 PM to 5.30 PM’, congrats on being a boring host. NEVER HAVE MEETINGS THAT ARE LONGER THAN AN HOUR. Solution? Break them into two. Have two sessions on two consecutive days. The problem when you take it more than an hour will be, a) Too much information b) No involvement c) Boredom and the worst of all d) They will forget the purpose of the meeting. By breaking the meeting into two, you save energy, time and avoid being responsible for murder using meetings.
Less is more
The content of the meeting has to be less. The meeting time can be split into,
40% - Information
30% - Discussion
20% - Feedback
10% - Give them some breather points
Apart from the serious talks, have some breather in between. This will help in maintaining a stable energy around.
Never forget MOM
In general world and in the corporate world MOMs are very important. Like how our mothers help in finding things that seem to be invisible to us and be lying right in front of your eyes when the mother turns up, MOM can be very useful.
Recalling the pointers will be difficult and even if you do take down notes, they may go missing. But have a shared access to collective MOMs over Drive or Dropbox will surely serve its purpose in the future. Sharing an email can be helpful only if everyone labels and uses a filter in their email to be easily accessed.
Quick tip: Follow a standard subject, if you are opting for email.
Attendees need a purpose.
While inviting to the meeting, make sure their contribution to the discussion is more than 50%. Avoid including people when
- They are only to listen and observe.
- Their part has not more than 20% of information to be provided
Instead, have a sub-meeting with them, take down the notes or even record the points and play it during the main discussion. This will save their time and will increase productivity. You can, of course, have them in the loop over the MOMs.
Don’t be a wanderer.
There are chances of going off the topic. There is no way of avoiding them completely but could be controlled. Have a checklist of all the points that have to be discussed and keep checking them off with each conclusion you arrive on.
This will help in reducing the wandering time, as the unchecked boxes will haunt you in your sleep.
There may be a lot of other factors influencing meetings and their methods. But these pointers will make you a better host of meetings and will increase the productivity level. None of the above talks about going all raw but they do talk about having smooth discussions.