Running Effective Meetings

According to research conducted by MIT, only 50% of meeting time is used effectively, and ineffective meetings can actually hinder productivity in the long run. Here are some meeting management skills that can help you determine whether the meeting should occur, and if so, how to make the most of every minute.

Have a Clear Purpose

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that meetings should ideally never be held just to share information, rather it should be an outlet to collaborate, brainstorm, and conduct one-on-one conversations between managers and employees. Before scheduling a meeting, consider what the overall goal is, if any of the information can be shared via email rather than in-person, and how long the meeting should be depending on the subject matter.

Create and Share a Plan

Before sending out the meeting invitation, make sure you include some information about what the meeting is about, who will be involved, and any information employees may need to prepare in advance. This will allow you to avoid spending the first portion of the meeting reviewing what should be discussed and instead jump right into the subject at hand. Creating the plan can also be a helpful way to see if the meeting is actually necessary. If you’re having a hard time writing actionable, clear goals for the meeting then it may be a sign there is more work to be done beforehand.

Choose Participants Who Can Contribute

Meetings can take up valuable time throughout the day, so be mindful of who you include and if it’s absolutely necessary for them to attend. Start by making a list of mandatory attendees, keeping in mind that meetings are generally more effective with smaller groups. If you find yourself debating inviting someone, consider if sending them an email with the information rather than including them on the call. If you lean towards including them, it may prove useful to have them attend.

Manage the Time Throughout the Call

It’s important to keep in mind that managing the time effectively once the meeting has started is just as important as preparing for it. For example, if you have an attendee who got all of the information they need at the start of the meeting, encourage them to excuse themselves and get back to work. Furthermore, make sure you leave time during the meeting or at the end for questions and review and allocate enough time for each person to share, collaborate, or problem solve.

Try these tips to help plan, run and get the most out of your next meeting.

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