Many meetings are inefficient. Participants fall asleep to the speaker’s monologue, problems are not solved, and nothing is done at the end. What creative ways do companies use to keep business meetings from being boring?
Rules for Effective Business Meetings
The activities of the Board of Directors are related to team management and are carried out in the course of meetings. It is there that solutions are formed that change the way the enterprise develops. The following are rules that allow a manager to halve the time spent on a 3-hour meeting.
Meeting Starts with Preparation
It is not enough to send out an invitation to everyone with a theme. Don’t be afraid to make an agenda. It should list what questions will be considered and what is the time limit for each question. Thus, the participants will save 5-7 minutes to get acquainted with the regulations, and the quality of the discussion will increase.
The more participants, the more time can be lost. You don’t need to invite members just because they can be there. Ask yourself how necessary it is for participants to be present throughout the meeting. Thus, you can reduce the composition by 2–3 people and save up to 15–20 minutes of deliberative time.
Make Sure that All Participants Know the Topic
Studying information from scratch directly during a meeting means wasting a lot of the right time for nothing. Distribute who is preparing what issue and what materials should be sent to all meeting participants in advance. You will save 20–30 minutes for the participants to understand the details.
Make Late Penalties
How long do you have to wait for those who do not come on time? 10 or even 15 minutes. Fines cured many latecomers. The amount of the fine and the severity of the punishment matter.
It takes courage, and it may take you a couple of meetings to prove that you are serious about not letting your time be wasted. You or your designated employee must persistently remind you of exceeding the time limit. Make sure that everyone present has their say. Savings can exceed 30 minutes.
Stick to the Main Theme
As soon as a discussion begins on a topic that is not related to the meeting agenda, intervene with the words: “This is a different issue, we will fix it for the future.” You can save 10 minutes to stop the discussion from drifting to the side.
Don’t Let the Meeting Turn into an Unproductive Conversation
The more rigidly the employees defend their positions, the more violently they attack each other, the less useful it is for the cause. Find what everyone is unanimous about, fix these theses. Formulate the points on which the positions of the participants differed, and determine how these contradictions will be resolved. You can save 10–15 minutes on emotions and empty arguments.
Document All Decisions Made at the Meeting
Write down the protocol with the dates of execution and be responsible for each issue. If you conducted the meeting well and accurately formulated all the outstanding issues, this protocol will serve as the basis for the agenda of the new meeting. If there is no protocol, then the meeting was wasted.
Conclusions: Quality over quantity
A well-organized meeting is a very costly process for all types of resources. Count only the time that employees spend on preparation, familiarization with the agenda, the meeting itself, and possible work on the results. Remember that quality is more important than quantity.