The last things anyone wants is to leave a meeting feeling like they haven’t accomplished anything. Or worse, feeling like they’ve taken a step backward or are more confused than ever. If this seems to be frequently happening within your company, it’s time you reassess how you handle meetings and implement ways to improve these meetings.
While having a room set aside for meetings can be helpful, it’s what happens in those rooms that’s going to have the most impact on their ultimate success. So to help you with this, here are three ways you can make your business meetings more productive.
Only Invite The Essentials
Regardless of whether your business is large or small, it’s unlikely that you need to have a large number of people at your regular meetings. In fact, when you have more people, it’s much easier for your meetings to run long or get off topic.
To help with this, Brian Scudamore, a contributor to Forbes.com, recommends making your meetings more exclusive. Don’t let office politics or co workers’ preferences inhibit you from only inviting those who are essential to the decision making process. While this might be hard to initiate at first, you’ll soon see that your meetings are much more focused and efficient.
Know The Right Length For Each Meeting
Some businesses seem to get in a rut where they think all meetings have to be an hour long. And although an hour is necessary for some meetings, if you can pare your meetings down and make them shorter, you definitely should. In fact, Laura Vanderkam, a contributor to Fast Company, writes that when your employees are able to leave a meeting before an hour is up, they often feel like that meeting has been more successful.
As a business owner, you want to use everyone’s time to the best of your ability, and being in meetings that are longer than needful is just a waste of everyone’s time.
Give Assignments And Follow Up
Even if you’ve been able to keep your meeting short and only involve the right people, if the final few minutes of the meeting aren’t spent divvying out assignments, all that you think you’ve accomplished in your meeting might not come to fruition. For this reason, Craig Cincotta, a contributor to Entrepreneur.com, recommends never leaving a meeting without knowing who’s responsible for what assignment and when those assignments need to be completed. If no one knows what their action items are, all the work you’ve done in the meeting could result in having to be gone over again in your next meeting, which is very unhelpful.
If the meetings in your office have been lacking recently, use the tips mentioned above to help you get them back on track.