10 Tips for Conducting Productive Meetings
Sometimes when I work with a company that is having difficulty in the areas of internal communication, it is possible to track many of the problems to meetings that are not being run in an effective manner.
The following is a list of items to consider when planning and conducting interdepartmental and company wide meetings.
1. Hold Only Necessary Meetings.
Some organizations schedule meetings on a regular basis in order to give the staff an opportunity for advance preparation. This in and of itself is an excellent idea. However, having a meeting merely for the sake of having a meeting is a quick way to build animosity and resentment in your staff. Not to mention the loss of valuable work time.
2. Make Copies in Advance.
Few things are a frustrating for a group of busy department heads and team leaders than sitting around in a conference room waiting for someone to make copies of reports for the meeting presentation.
3. Have and Agenda.
Although occasional impromptu meetings are unavoidable when unexpected issues develop, conducting meetings without an agenda on a regular basis are an expensive waste of time and resources.
4. Set Time Limits.
Busy staff members find it easier to focus during meetings if the know in advance there is a finite time limit.
5. Honor Time Limits.
Period. When items can not be fully addressed in the time allotted reschedule them for another time with a greater time allotment. During large meetings I use a timer when an auditory end signal.
6. No Cell Phones.
If a meeting is important enough to attend, it is important enough to warrant your full attention.
7. No Email.
Again, if a meeting is important enough to attend, it should get your undivided attention.
8. Stick to the Agenda.
Do not add other items that crop up. Put them on the agenda for the next meeting and move on.
9. Assign a Recorder.
This is an excellent way to make sure everyone who attended the meeting came away with the same understanding.
10. Follow Up.
Before the next meeting check the progress of each person on the tasks they have been assigned.