Productive meetings are hugely beneficial for your business and essential to driving great results. On the flip side, poor meetings can be a waste of time and resources, so it’s important for your business to know how to make sure all meetings are a success.
Here’s how to go about ensuring that your meetings are a success, with actionable results that get all the key stakeholders involved and improve collaboration.
How to conduct a meeting
The main point of holding a meeting is to get everybody moving in the same direction on a project, whether that’s keeping everyone up-to-date with developments or planning next stages on a task.
Anyone who has been in an office environment knows that meetings can take up a large chunk of your working day. Too many meetings can be unnecessary and counterproductive, so it’s best to ensure that everyone’s time is well spent with an efficient and creative meeting format.
For this reason alone, the first step is to make sure every meeting you hold warrants a physical meeting and isn’t something that can be outlined in an email or with a quick chat instead.
Holding a meeting: the basics
Getting the basics right can be crucial to making a meeting a success, this includes:
- Starting on time and ending on time
- Reviewing the attendee list to ensure everyone who needs to be there is in attendance
- Sending out an agenda beforehand so everyone is clear of the action points
- Ending with the next steps or a clear plan of action
- Keeping track of time and ensuring everyone stays on task.
Focus on the format
A successful meeting can follow many different formats. One of the best ways to make sure attendees are engaged at your meeting is by switching it up and thinking outside of the box. Good ways to refresh the format and give your meeting a new lease of life include:
- Holding your meetings somewhere different such as in the kitchen or in a large communal area
- Making the setting less or more formal
- Adding an interactive element to the meeting such as a whiteboard or sticky notes
- Asking attendees to prep in advance to maximise participation
Leave job titles at the door
The standard boardroom format doesn’t always inspire people to speak up and can be intimidating for some members of staff.
One of the main reasons some meetings aren’t a success is because the same people are the ones offering ideas, while others may naturally hang back. This isn’t necessarily an issue – some people are naturally more confident than others.
By taking the meeting out of a formal setting, more junior or less confident members of staff might feel more encouraged to speak up and share their thoughts and ideas.
Ask for 100% concentration
Request that people leave laptops and phones behind if they’re coming to a meeting. There’s nothing more distracting than someone who is sat replying to emails on their phone or laptop. Plus, it means they aren’t going to be taking in what you’re saying or adding anything productive.
State this as a requirement when establishing your effective meeting guidelines to make it best practise throughout your organisation.
What is an effective meeting?
It might take time to define what an effective meeting at your business looks like. Trialling a number of different approaches can be helpful to help you achieve your goals.
Ultimately, an effective meeting should be concise, align project goals and everyone should leave knowing exactly what they need to do next to push things forward.
The goal is to make sure attendees leave the meeting feeling inspired and clear about the task. If your meetings aren’t reaching these objectives it might be a good idea to think about other strategies, you can implement.
By following these tips, you should be able to hold meetings which are much more productive and successful. For even more top tips to improve your workplace, check out our knowledge centre blog.