We’re talking about meetings and using them to efficiently make decisions and manage your business.
So how do you use your time more efficiently during meetings and become more productive? The easiest first step is to have an agenda. Know before the meeting what you want to accomplish. For regular meetings, like a weekly staff meeting, the agenda can become an agenda item. You can determine what will be discussed during the next meeting and how much time you will allocate to that topic. Then, by assigning a timekeeper to keep track of time and a gatekeeper to keep the discussion within the bounds of the agenda, the meeting can stay on track and on time. At the end of the allotted time, the entire group can decide if the topic needs to be allocated additional time or if enough discussion has taken place to move forward.
For less formal meetings, you can effectively do the same thing with the entire group acting as gatekeepers. This function is a key role in making meeting time more efficient. You probably have an individual in your organization that talks on and on about whatever comes to mind once he gets the floor. You can prevent this by having an understanding by the whole group that you’re going to try to be efficient and not allow any one person to hijack a meeting.
Another key ingredient in effective meetings is doing your homework before the meeting. If you’re supposed to investigate a topic and be prepared to present it to your meeting group, then do it. Nothing is more frustrating than showing up for a meeting about a specific topic from someone, who forgot or just didn’t have time to get their research done. That wastes everyone’s time.
Got a thought about making meetings more effective? Why not share?