A productive meeting is a high energy event where the team members will work together in solving problems and making decisions in a timely and efficient manner. Unfortunately, most meetings will be the opposite. When you attend such a meeting, it will make time crawl and attendees will be mentally and emotionally exhausted. We can all agree that there is a difference between a successful and a failed meeting. You can usually tell the difference once the meeting is over by looking at who is still wide awake.
If you want to lead a productive meeting, you should understand the importance of that event. However, also remember that a great meeting will require proper planning and deliberate effort.
Here are tips for leading a productive meeting:
1. Prepare the Agenda
In each meeting, the crucial part is usually the agenda. To lead a productive meeting, you first have to spend time analyzing the agenda of that meeting. Start defining the reason the meeting is necessary (necessary being the keyword) You can lead a productive meeting when you have a clear purpose for the meeting. Making sure the meeting is not an email is your first step. Remember the 5 W’s who, what, when, where, and most importantly WHY.
2. Invite VIP’S ONLY.
Following an example of some of the successful companies such as Google, you can learn a thing about leading productive meetings. There is a need to reduce attendees in your meeting. Google allows no more than ten people each meeting, and other companies are taking a similar stance. If you limit the attendees and allow key people, it helps your meeting remain structured. You can, therefore, achieve the goal of having a succinct an efficient meeting.
3. Keep Your Meetings Short And Concise
Speaking of succinct, you might be wondering how long your meeting should be? It is an excellent question to consider. According to Parkinson’s law, it dictates that work has to expand for it to fill the available time of completion. It is something you should also consider in meetings. For example, when you schedule a 2-hour meeting, there’s a high chance are that your team will fill up that time. It indicates you’re not also using that time productively. If you need to avoid misuse of time with a productive meeting, keep it short and concise. It will help you keep the agenda focused and clear. Ideally, the most productive meetings require about 15 minutes.
4. Focus On Agenda
It is essential to stick to your agenda. You also have to ensure that the attendees will follow it. So that you can have a successful meeting, ask attendees whether they have other items they would like discussed before you plan on your agenda. If the proposals from the attendees are not in the scope of the meeting, they should send a memo to all attendees. You might find that a one on one or an additional team meeting is necessary.
5. End The Meeting With Assigned Tasks
Lastly, to lead a productive meeting, you should ensure at the end, it has a clear outcome. You should use the minutes to recap what you have discussed during the meeting. At the end of that meeting, ensure each attendee is familiar with his or her responsibilities and send out a copy of the minutes from the meeting.
Getting an opportunity to lead a meeting with your team should be a great time to do your best work and make the best use of your time. You must develop the discipline by planning and conducting a meeting that attendees will value and push the initiatives forward. By following the above tips, you will ensure you’ve achieved the meeting outcome.