Better Together: 7 Tips for Hosting More Productive Meetings
Attending meetings is definitely not the highlight of a workweek. They can often be boring, drawn out and unproductive. But the problem is that they are necessary for team communication and project planning a lot of the time.
The good thing is your meeting doesn’t have to be a drag. There are ways to turn even the most dreadful meetings into an effective team working session. Everyone will be thanking you later once you’re able to pull this off.
Keep reading to find out 7 tips on how you can start hosting more productive meetings.
1. Schedule Accordingly
Although meetings are a regular part of a lot of people’s jobs, when they come up they often feel like an inconvenience. It might be because most people aren’t really enthused about being there or due to them actually having to stop in the middle of their personal work to attend. And there are those times when someone is so pressed for time that they barely make (or don’t).
Always take scheduling into account when it comes to hosting productive meetings. Knowing that time isn’t too constrained can take the edge off of people from the start.
It may be best to request access to employee calendars or have everyone email their availability dates and times and work from there.
2. Write Down Agenda
The quickest way to make a meeting drag is to have absolutely no direction with your topics on presentation. Not only will you lose track of time, but people will also probably become very confused with what you’re saying. And you always want to make sure everyone has solid takeaways from the meeting.
You can avoid this dilemma by simply writing out everything you would like to say beforehand. When trying to host productive meetings, it’s important that everyone at least be on the same page. You should also consider handing out printouts of the meeting agenda for attendees to follow along.
There will definitely be a huge difference in the flow of the meeting if you plan out the conversation first.
3. Give People Time to Prepare
Besides a work meeting, most people might have a lot already on their plate for the workweek. This might cause them to be less receptive to what’s being discussed during the meeting. Common courtesy to all participants is to try to give a head’s up about the meeting if possible.
Also consider when people are expected to give a presentation, have prior knowledge of the discussion topic or give input, feedback or participation. It’s best to allow them some extra time to get prepared for this.
4. Encourage Participation
Speaking of participation, if you want to host productive meetings you should absolutely be requesting participation from employees and other attendees. This can be a helpful indicator of who is actively engaged. It also helps to move the time faster because everyone is able to share thoughts instead of just sitting back and listening to a lecture.
Soliciting participation during a work meeting also assists with building up teamwork. It gives everyone a chance to be heard in a respectful way and exchange ideas in a group setting. Encourage everyone to be individualistic and speak up with their own thoughts and opinions to avoid falling into a cycle of groupthink.
5. Switch Up Environment
Sometimes seeing the same office space all week can be draining and dull. This goes the same for going to meetings frequently in the same boardrooms and conference spaces. A great way to wake people up is to switch up environments a little.
There are plenty of new types of workspaces that promote more successful and productive meetings and work habits in general. Try investing in a meeting room rental for your next professional get together to liven things up for participants.
6. Set Professionals Standards
People sometimes get into heated debates or conversations during interactions at meetings. This is a common situation yet it should be something that does not go over a certain limit. You can make sure of this by establishing professional standards and expectations of everyone who attends.
Don’t allow defiant attendees to ruin your productive meetings by causing conflict instead of adding value. Know when someone has crossed a boundary and have a plan for confronting them and bringing everyone back to order. You may have to research some de-escalation tips that are appropriate for professional environments.
7. Consider Virtual Meetings
We live in a world where almost anything can be done in the digital space. This includes meetings. For those weeks that seem impossible to work with everyone’s schedule, consider hosting virtual meetings instead.
You can find plenty of programs and apps that allow you to bring in your entire team to a screen meetup. There are also great phone conference services that can easily bring you together.
Virtual options don’t have to always be used but to would help with hosting more productive meetings if things were made more convenient for those attending.
8. Ask for Feedback
After the meeting is all said and done, you should know how things went. This will help you to apply any changes or suggestions for the next one. It also makes employees feel like they are heard and appreciated during group work.
Be sure to invite others to provide feedback from the gatherings. You can simply ask them to write something down after the meeting or send out an email survey a few days later. Remember to follow-up with everyone about any discussions that were left unfinished as well.
Ready to Host More Productive Meetings?
Sure, meetings can be a bit inconvenient and not so fun but they are an efficient way of getting topics discussed and flushing out ideas in a quick manner. And they don’t have to be bland and boring. The more preparation you take, the more productive your meetings become.
Show great leadership skills by making participants feel excited about the next meetup. If you’re looking for business tips and advice, keep reading our blog.