Optimal lighting of the meeting room or venue. Project planning, mapping out customer journeys, setting goals, solving a problem, choosing X vs. Y… all these are situations where holding a meeting is probably the most effective way to get it done. Every ten minutes or so, do or say something that will re-ignite their interest. Your next job is to assign the action steps that need to be taken after the meeting. Effective meetings are imaginative, participative, innovative and engaging. If not, how should we adjust. Err on the side of sharing with more people than is strictly necessary. Even if everyone in the group has a desk in your office, it’s always a good idea to set up your meeting to be accessible and valuable for people joining remotely. Sarah Goff-Dupont You also need to keep the number of attendees to the barest minimum. Known as psychological safety, this is one of the leading indicators of a high-performing team. But if meetings consume so much of your time, you should be extracting huge benefits from them, shouldn’t you? Did we have the right people in the room? If not, who should/shouldn’t be included in the future? Get best practices and sound advice on how to create understanding and work together better. Don’t be that person. Yay! He is also the host of The Career Insider Podcast and the co-host of The C.A.R.E. It’s especially true for recurring meetings, as this will help you figure out how frequently these meetings need to be held. An effective meeting, on the other hand, combines efficiency and thoughtfulness. Effective teamwork means agreeing to trust each other enough to rally behind the decision once it’s been made. Some people walk out of meetings with more questions than answer or even wonder why they attended the meeting in the first place. Here are some extra tips that can help you run productive meetings. A meeting is most likely going to be a colossal waste of time if you can’t describe its purpose in actionable and result-oriented terms. After you’ve clearly defined the purpose, goals, and objectives of the meeting, the next step will be to create the agenda of the meeting. The chances are that on any given day, your schedule is chock-full of them. Since there are only so many hours in the (work) day, here is an easy-to-follow process for running effective meetings so everyone walks in knowing what to discuss and walks out knowing next steps. You have to be mindful of drifting off-topic for too long or going too deep into technicalities. But there are ways to run effective, efficient meetings that leave your employees feeling energized and excited about their work. Okay, statistics nerds, here are a few gems for you. Getting rid of technological distractions like laptops and phones (we’ll get to that in a moment). To summarize — hold a meeting only when necessary. The job of facilitators is to keep people on track with the agenda of the meeting. Before scheduling any meeting, the very first thing you need to consider is if the meeting is necessary. We have our regular monthly organization meetings, special task force meetings to work on, urgent actions, and committee meetings … Unfortunately, the reverse seems to be the case. Meetings are vitally important – if done well. However, it doesn’t mean that you invite everyone to every meeting in the company (see number 4). Chances are, your meeting will generate some kind of artifact: an action plan, a collection of ideas, a user journey, a list of next steps, etc. The catch is that you’re honor-bound to follow up on them, or you’ll lose the group’s trust. Also, whoever is sitting beside the scribe will most definitely get distracted by the screen or the sound of typing. Plus, nobody likes being the giant head on the TV screen at the front of the room. An effective meeting is like Burning Man: there are no spectators – only participants! Effective meetings are gatherings in which the agenda is clearly defined, the meeting is carefully structured and the participants arrive organized and prepared for the event. Most meetings have vague goals, and many usually lack an agenda. Working from home isn't easy, and the transition from the office to home isn't totally natural, but with enough awareness and some good advice you can increase your productivity, improve your communication, and remain connected with your team. How long “too long” is, and how deep “too deep” is, is up to the facilitator to decide). positive about the use of their time and with a sense that progress has been made Organizing and running successful meetings with a human touch is the real key to effective meetings. Meetings help people … Be intentional about where you are and aren’t focusing energy. Were the meeting’s purpose and agenda clear? And you’ve got 30 seconds before they start asking the question, ‘Am I going to pay attention to you or not?’ The instant you open your mouth, you are on the verge of having your audience check out.”. Being … Effective Meeting Strategies: 6 Tips to Run an Effective Meeting. What are effective meetings? Taking notes during meetings is not just a good habit, but a necessary one. You might not reach full agreement, but that’s okay. Use this framework (stands for “driver, approver, contributor, informed”) to make effective and efficient group decisions. It can include things like brainstorming new product ideas, analyzing results for the past quarter, and action steps to take moving forward. Keep an ongoing, open dialogue amongst the people you meet with most frequently, and emphasize progress over perfection. In contrast, the junior employees sit around watching the conversation and refraining from making any contribution to avoid being reprimanded (or to avoid feeling inept). People want to do productive things that they feel are truly important – but meetings that lack structures can feel like a colossal waste of time. Teams are made up of individuals, and they function best when each member is happy, healthy, and productive. They produce ideas, give direction, strengthen bonds and renew vigor. Now stay the course! Executing an effective meeting is an important part of a Program Managers (PM)job. It’s imperative because when people find themselves in meetings where they can’t make any reasonable contribution due to lack of skill or expertise, or that the topics to discuss are irrelevant to them, they’ll see the meeting as a waste of their precious time. It’s important to distinguish between effective and efficient. You crafted an agenda designed to achieve the goal. It says nothing about whether the right people were in the room for the right reasons, or whether the meeting generated any value for the business. And it most likely is. You might be surprised by what really matters (and what doesn’t). It can be tempting to scribble down some points on any sheet of paper and call it your agenda to get it over with. When everyone is on the same page and aware of what should be done, even the most challenging tasks can be completed. There are very few things that are as annoying as someone scheduling a meeting and sending out an invite with no indication as to what will be discussed in the meeting — leaving the invitees clueless as to why they are at the meeting in the first place. Plus, we’re less likely to be distracted by a looming list of tasks for the day. Assigning the next action steps to be taken, with the deadline is not enough. An effective meeting agenda clearly states meeting goals and discussion topics. The team at Trello does this if even one person is remote. You can begin by writing the topics you want to center your discussion on in the meeting. They provide a unique chance for people at all levels of the business to hear directly from executives and other decision-makers – and, if you include time for Q&A, vice-versa. Here are a few note-taking apps that you can use. For any meeting to be effective, it needs to have a clear, concise, and well-defined purpose, goals, and objectives. As much as possible, avoid scheduling your meeting during someone else’s lunch hour, or at a time when they’d otherwise be reading their kids a bedtime story. Have Fewer, Better Meetings. Inclusivity is more of a mindset than anything else. Not only that, but the result is then shared with others whose work may be affected. To ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak at the meeting, invent some type of a “. They’ll produce better work, and you’ll have more engaged participants. Using this knowledge — you can engineer your meetings so that in the first 30 seconds of the meeting, you can share the most interesting points of the meeting to arouse the interest of the attendees. In reality, … (Just how long is “too long” and how deep is “too deep” is up to you as meeting facilitator to decide.). To run an effective meeting, you’ll need to plan ahead, … When that can’t be avoided, at least check in with the people who’ll be inconvenienced to get their buy-in in advance. You know the meeting’s purpose because you’ve thought it through. Effective meetings are collaborative. Did this meeting result in something of value to the business? According to Fuze, ineffective meetings cost organizations an estimated $37 billion annually. Meetings in your organization are supposed to be a cooperative and not contentious. You have to regularly track these action items to make sure that some progress is being made. They can also make you feel like your schedule is overflowing with meetings. Furthermore, workers consider roughly half of their meetings to be a waste of time, and 73% confess to sneaking in some real work during meetings. Although employees can communicate with one another in an organization in many different ways, business meetings — if they are conducted the right way — can be incredibly effective and efficient. Draw out the introvert toward the end of a discussion by asking whether they see points the group hasn’t considered yet. March 13, 2019 John Keyser Efficiency, Leadership, Success Factors 0. That’s fine! But time is not the only thing that is wasted. Meetings are expensive, so be thoughtful about who you invite. Making the meeting environment comfortable. We think that they both mean the same thing – they don’t, and you must know the difference. You don’t have to put a specific brainstorming exercise on the agenda, but you do have to make the group feel comfortable expressing non-conforming opinions or offering up off-the-wall ideas. Some meetings are both essential and necessary, while others are just a complete waste of time. If you have to make a decision — you need to press the team harder to make a decision or recommendation so that action steps can be set and taken at the end of the meeting, rather than let them off the hook with a “maybe,” or a vague decision. For 99% of meetings, you can give yourself a break and skip worrying about…. An effective meeting brings a thoughtfully selected group of people together for a specific purpose, provides a forum for open discussion, and delivers a tangible result: a decision, a plan, a list of great ideas to pursue, a shared understanding of the work ahead. Before you schedule the meeting, ask yourself this: “what are we looking to achieve with this meeting?”. A meeting involves talking WITH teammates, not AT them. Because governmental bodies and other groups and organizations must conduct much of their business through meetings… Questions like “Why do we think that’s true?” or “Can you expand on that?” or “How could we measure that?” demonstrate humility and curiosity on your part, which sets the tone for the rest of the group. About The Author: Nissar Ahamed is the Founder & CEO of CareerMetis.com, a publication dedicated to helping job seekers and freelancers with actionable advice and resources. And it’s okay if the whole team is not in full agreement with the decision. The only introvert… the only person from Finance… the person who just started last week. The fact that you’re still reading means you’re committed to running a great meeting. Unless you’re the scribe (or note-taker) — your electronic gadgets should be silenced and put out of sight to reduce distraction and enable both you and those around you to concentrate. As the meeting organizer and facilitator, you have a chance to lead by example and be the first to broach a controversial topic or offer an unusual perspective or idea. Chances are, the meeting will be more successful this way. Principal Writer. Your meeting agenda might have just one item. Meetings should never be held for the sole purpose of sharing information – that’s what email, chat, and company intranets (e.g., Confluence) are for. Understanding how to run effective meetings is one of the most crucial skills employees at all levels need to learn to thrive at work – but it isn’t merely a matter of doing the obvious things like sharing an agenda and starting meetings on time. In addition to creating an agenda for your meetings is designating facilitators. First of all, summarize the meeting and the decisions made. It can mean interrupting someone for speaking longer than necessary, calling out participants for drifting off the topic or summarizing the next action steps to be taken. The same electronic gadgets we carry around these days that help make our lives easier and also have the ability to make us more productive at work — are also the biggest and most dangerous distractions that we have today. How to run effective team meetings … Once you’re sure that a meeting is necessary, the next step will be to create clear, concise, and well-defined purpose, goals, and objectives. A bit of divergence goes a long way when you’re looking for creative ideas, puzzling through solutions to a problem, or exploring options. At its core, the purpose of a team meeting is to share information efficiently and to provide scope for discussion around what is being shared. You can say something like: “We appreciate your opinions and contributions, we do, but we need to hear other people’s opinions too so that we can make the most informed decision.”. At the very least, a good meeting will center on a productive discussion that will be more effective in real time than asynchronously via emails or comment threads. Few things are more irksome than the person who sends a meeting invite with no indication whatsoever of what will happen in the meeting, and therefore invitees have no clue as to why they’re being invited. Effective meeting facilitation starts with a review of the goals, or anticipated outcomes … There are many alternatives to meetings that are more effective and efficient than having suboptimal meetings. Most of us don’t have formal training in meeting management skills, but anyone can learn to do it well. 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