Have you ever walked out at the end of a meeting asking yourself what was accomplished? Do you always get annoyed each time you’re called up for a meeting because you believe it may end up being a waste of time? You’re not alone in this and there’re many stats to support it. It has been revealed that about one-third, half or even two-thirds of meetings ended up a failure and total waste of time. This makes meetings the biggest time-waster in the workplace and the main reason for unproductive workdays. However, many industry leaders ascribe the constant failure of most meetings to a lack of planning and organization in advance. Therefore, to set right this dysfunction, we recommend these five tips:
1. Have A Clear Topic And Purpose For Every Meeting
Many organizations have turned meeting to a habit. They meet every specific day for a meeting because that’s what they do. Also, they meet in the way they do because that’s what they have always done. Meetings can’t be habitual because the world we live in isn’t habitual — it’s dynamic. There’s no need for an organization to call for a meeting if there are no important things to discuss.
Therefore, every meeting should have a clear topic and purpose to make it focused and result-oriented rather than habitual and ‘’talking-oriented’’. An agenda that clearly states the topic and purpose for every meeting should be sent out in advance to every member expected to be in the meeting. Also, sticking to this agenda is paramount, if you don’t want to end up talking about things that won’t add value to your organization.
2. Set Result-Oriented Objectives For Every Meeting
Begin each meeting using a simple sentence to state the purpose of the meeting to all the members around. Set realistic and result-oriented objectives for every meeting and make sure that the entire team is on the same page with the objectives. Spend the first few minutes of the meeting to ask each participant what they hope to get out of the meeting. Doing this can go a long way to ensure that no participant will leave at the end of the meeting feeling like their time has been wasted.
Remember, According to Shirley Lee Training and Development, 9 out of 10 people are considered to daydream in meetings. This is more reason you should plan your meetings around your entire team if you want to have effective and friction-free meetings at all times.
3. Only Invite People Who Are Needed For The Meeting
Not every person in your organization is important for every meeting. Trying to invite everyone to a meeting regardless of whether they are needed or not for decision-making or action-taking would only bring about more passive participation. People that are not needed for a meeting shouldn’t be invited. These set of people are more likely to lose interest and spend their time doing something else while the meeting is on-going, making the meeting a waste of time for them.
On the contrary, if people that are needed for a decision about the topic and purpose of the meeting are absent, it will render the meeting inconclusive. This, in turn, will make the meeting a total waste of time for everyone. Always make sure that people who are important for the meeting are only invited and present.
4. Schedule Meetings At The Right Time
Let everyone participating in the meeting be aware of the actual time that the meeting will hold and how long it’ll last. In planning an efficient meeting in advance, timing is a factor that shouldn’t be neglected. As the organizer, it’s your job to determine the best time to hold a meeting. A meeting shouldn’t be held too early or too late. Therefore, you should time accurately and plan meetings in advance at the time when they are most needed.
5. End Every Meeting With Clear Action Points
Do not organize meetings for the sake of meeting. Meetings should be organized to make decisions about something and to take the right action outside the meeting to boost productivity. Many meetings often turn to a waste of time because it remains unclear what the consequence is. Therefore, ensure you end every meeting with clear action points with a date and assign someone to be responsible.
It’s time for organizers to change the way business meetings are being conducted. It’s not that difficult to plan result-oriented and friction-free meetings and with these five tips, it even becomes much easier. Following these simple five tips will help you plan more effectively ahead for all your meetings in 2020 and even beyond.