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10 Steps On How To Run A Short And Productive Meeting

How To Run A Short And Productive Meeting

Meetings are a day-to-day task for all company employees. Having a meeting is the ideal way to communicate with coworkers and collaborate as a team. But sometimes, meetings extend too long, people do not accomplish anything and get sidetracked. And instead of helping to optimize teamwork, meetings end up being a waste of time. 

To avoid this, you should decide if a meeting is necessary. Many times people set up meetings to address issues that could be done via email or phone. If you decide that, yes, you need to meet with your team then, these are some steps you can follow to run a short and productive meeting

1. Set an Objective

The first step to accomplish a productive meeting is to set an objective beforehand. If you don’t have a clear idea of what the meeting is going to discuss, you may lose focus. Set expectations for the meetings, even draft a list of the things that should be covered. 

Most meetings are held to make decisions, inform the team, work together to solve a problem or discuss a topic. No matter what a meeting is for, the important thing is to have clear objectives. Also, make sure all attendees are informed on what your meeting goals are so they do not lose focus.

2. Set an Agenda and Stick to It

Agendas are an important meeting component. You should predetermine meeting discussion topics and allocate how much time each would take. Make sure to forward meeting agendas beforehand so everyone is aware. With clear agendas, a meeting will be smooth and prompt.

3. Limit the Number of Attendees

Additional people in a meeting could reduce productivity. When planning a meeting, you need to decide which team members will be present. For example, a decision-making meeting should only be attended by senior managers. Try to minimize the number of attendees by determining and ensure meetings are focused on tasks ahead. The more people attend one, the longer a meeting will take.

4. Stay on Time and Keep It Short

Punctuality is one of the most important traits in the business world. In some cultures, it is rude to make others wait and could even be a reason to break up a business relationship. So, start this punctuality culture by being an example. Start a meeting exactly at the time it was scheduled for.

Do not make your team wait for you, it sets a bad example and they could think you believe your time is more valuable than theirs. Also, make sure it ends on time, don’t let it extend too long because it becomes a waste of time.

5. Prepare the Right Materials

This step is to complement the idea of meeting agendas. After choosing the topics, you should prepare the materials that will be necessary for each subject. Visual materials and documents must be reading before a meeting starts. If it is possible, send all materials to attendees before a meeting begins.

6. Leverage Technology

Sometimes technology can be our best ally. If you want to discuss something urgent, but you’re not at the office, you can use tech tools to run a remote meeting. The most popular tools for remote meetings use machine learning to provide a seamless meeting experience.

7. Park Off-Topic Discussions

This concept is very helpful in sticking to predetermined meeting agendas. The notion consists of the idea that any non-predetermined topics should be placed on “the parking lot” for later discussion. The idea is to keep meetings short and productive while highlighting focused topics.

8. Act as The Mediator

If you were the one to call for a meeting and made the agenda, then you should make sure it is followed. Act as a mediator to ensure people do not get sidetracked and every topic on the agenda is discussed. Make sure team discussions are concise when presenting ideas. Do not be afraid to cut in and remind them to get to the point. These are some of the things you should do as a Project Manager to ensure the productivity of your meeting. 

9. Set up Next Steps

Keep notes during a meeting so at the end of it you know what it accomplished. You can make a quick recap at the end to summarize discussions and decisions and make sure team members know what tasks have to be done. You can compare the notes with your expectations to measure how productive the meeting was.

How To Run A Short And Productive Meeting

10. Follow Up

Every meeting should be followed up. Sometimes, team members come out of a meeting with different ideas and understandings of what was discussed. To clear any miscommunication, send an email with decision and task summaries for each team member. A follow-up email can also be used to discuss “parking lot” topics or remind people about timelines and assigned tasks.

Bonus! Use Meetfox to optimize your meetings

Meetfox allows you to share your calendar with your clients so they can fill your calendar directly. This way they’ll see your available dates and times for meetings and you’ll save a lot of time from having to coordinate a date for the meeting. You can access Meetfox from any device without having to download any app. Meetfox allows you to record and share files during the meeting which is a great way to streamline all activities in a single platform.

Credits: Artur Meyster

How To Run A Short And Productive Meeting

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