Make Your Meetings Matter

Ask yourself, “What are the biggest time wasters in my office?” If your workplace is like most, it’s a safe guess that social media and meetings are on your list. Maybe there’s a way you can eliminate social media from your office or, at least, curtail its use. However, meetings are an essential part of effective workplace communication. The question, then, isn’t how to get rid of meetings, but rather how to make them more efficient. With that in mind, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your meetings.

Have a Game Plan
If you don’t have a reason for a meeting, don’t have a meeting. Weekly meetings can be a great way to catch your staff up on the latest news and issues at the office, but there’s no need to make them the same length of time every week. You should never feel like you need to fill a certain number of minutes. Instead, get to the heart of what you’re talking about, allow the staff to ask questions, and then get back to work.

Allow Exceptions
There’s no surer way to make an attendee anxious than pulling them away from an important task. Nobody should skip out on a meeting simply because they don’t want to go. If, however, their time could be more wisely spent, you shouldn’t force them to attend. Prioritize who needs to be at the meeting and whose time could be better used elsewhere.

Start With Big Ideas
A meeting should be a forum for hashing out concerns and tackling big-picture concepts. If you’re listing off a slew of granular changes, those aren’t the ingredients for a productive meeting. Information like that can be disseminated in other forms. As you discuss a larger concern, details relating to it will arise during your discussion. Ask yourself if the meeting has a larger topic that merits discussion.

Engage Your Participants
A meeting should be just that. If you’re not expecting collaboration, don’t call it a meeting. Tell your staff you’re giving a presentation and they’ll come ready to take notes. But if you want to actually have a meeting, every participant should come ready and willing to engage with the ideas on the table.