Meetings can serve you in a way that helps you get your goals accomplished, agendas set and structure set up. That’s the point of them. But they can also waste a tremendous amount of your and everyone else’s time. That’s why so many people these days simply dread meetings. So how can you have more productive meetings which don’t waste time or irritate the working masses? Well here are some tips to improve your team’s productivity.
Mondays just aren’t a good day for meetings. Yes, today is Monday, hence my bringing it up. Mondays are a day for people to reacclimatize and get caught up and reoriented with ongoing projects, not a day to meet with other groups. Of course, sometimes it is unavoidable and that’s certainly understandable, but in many cases where it isn’t pertinent to meet, then don’t. Allow people to get caught up instead and reoriented with the current task. This is also a much better strategy for overall productivity in meetings.
Don’t have a meeting just to have one, you should have a point and goal. Certainly, a corporation must have their annual shareholder meeting. Many meetings are called because people are confused as to what direction to go, or because they feel they have to have a meeting out of obligation. Nothing could be further from the truth. When people come to a meeting, there should be a clearly outlined goal so that the meeting isn’t just about meaningless updates. Brainstorming meetings are fine, but make sure if that’s what you are doing, everyone knows it and comes prepared to do so.
A meeting summary should be given to everyone before the meeting. This will clearly outline expectations of your meetings. I can’t count the number of meetings I’ve been to whereas people are walking to a conference room saying things like, “anyone knows why this meeting was called?” That’s not good. Define what the meeting is actually about and what expectations you have from others.
You might want to encourage that others participate in the meeting if that’s the goal. Otherwise, people may shy away from the experience feeling that you are the leader of the situation. If you want participation in meetings, it is best to define that ambition prior to the meeting in the summary agenda. Also, people knowing beforehand what the meeting is in regards to will also help participation because people will have a sense of mental preparation.
Meetings don’t have to be so bad folks!
How to conduct effective meetings
Do you loathe meetings? Does your entire team dread having to attend them? Well, it is most likely because the meetings are awful, and they don’t have to be.
If everyone is doing their job correctly, they probably feel busy and don’t see a break in their schedules for more meetings. So if you are going to pull people from the daily grind to conduct a meeting, make it energizing and worth it! There is a reason people have meetings. Of course, some people just like to hear themselves talk, but other than that, there is a real need, if and only if you are having necessary meetings. Let’s discuss a few ways to spruce up your meetings while making them productive.
Pick and Choose Meetings
Just trusts me on this and only have a meeting if it is absolutely necessary. If you just call random meetings then you will be the dreaded meeting maker. No one will take meetings seriously, so when there is an urgent topic, it will be tough to wrangle employees in. If you choose meetings wisely, you will notice everyone will come more prepared and be more involved.
Involve Everyone in the Meeting
Meetings shouldn’t just be about the person in charge and what they want. Involve every staff member and ask them questions. What are their needs? You will also benefit from this. More work will be accomplished on both ends if the entire team is part of the meeting. Think of it as motivation for you and the team.
Bring Notes to ALL Meetings
Keep in mind that every person in the meeting has completely stopped doing work for this meeting, so you shouldn’t feel above bringing in notes – a business meeting agenda. This way you will stay on track and not forget any of the important issues at hand. Think about what you would like the outcome of the meeting to be and it should help you move things right along.
Be sure to be detailed and understood. Don’t just ramble a few words and expect everybody to know what you mean in meetings. I don’t mean to drag on and on about the same thing in an incessant way. Be concise and to the point. Then on to the next subject. Keep the mood alive for good business meeting etiquette.
Delegate The Formula
This should help separate awful meetings from awesome meetings. Don’t just blurt out a bunch of things you want. Create the goals and break them down. Next, delegate them to team members and departments. Tell them when you want them completed. A bunch of information can get lost, but work orders and timelines should not.
I’ve been to great meetings and I left feeling motivated and excited about my job and the organization I work for. Meetings don’t have to be such a drag and waste of time. It starts with the person conducting. Set the mood for your meetings.
These People Make Meetings Suck
Meetings are the epitome of time-waste. Most meetings accomplish about as much as a hamster spinning in a wheel. But there are certain types of people who make a bad situation totally worse.
These are the people in meetings who drive me absolutely nuts.
The Meeting Prompter
This is the person who loves meetings. Probably because they are super bored from accomplishing nothing all day. You can only refresh that Facebook screen so many times until its the same political argument corking the top. They love to suggest more meetings.
“I mean, we should just meet about this again separately.”
Meetings are their fuel. Meetings are their link to company relevance. When you don’t DO THINGS, meetings are a perfect getaway.
The Mindnumbing Asskisser
Meetings are tough enough to get through, but nothing makes them worse than that moment the department dirtbag starts babbling about nothingness. Talking just to be noted as taking by management. And most times managers just love this stuff. They consider it enthusiasm. But really it is just nauseating. Almost always these people babble on about things that end up being tasked to other, more competent people who usually are busy with other things.
The Cologne Guy
Usually, from accounting, this guy stinks of cheap outlet mall cologne. The smell is familiar as you’ve been in his office before and felt the napalm leaking into your nostrils before. Sitting by him is like having rusty nails trapped inside of your sinuses. At times, it seems as though you will suffocate. When he speaks or makes sudden movements, you die a little.
This might be the worst one of them all. This person diverts attention away from their own incompetence to other people. This allows them to get out of having to answer to their own futility.
“Jim, how’s that report coming along.”
“It’s stalled, still waiting on Jan to send me correct numbers regarding how many employees work in our Blogging department so I can calculate the financial side of things.”
“Jim, only one person, works in that department, you walk by her daily.”
“So Jan let me know when you find time to send me the appropriate numbers so that I may complete this pending task.”
Jim is a 100% buffoon. But he’s also a thorn in your side.
The Prop Person
Meetings are worsened by props. There is nothing worse than someone who brings in a Powerpoint presentation for something totally insane.
“Ok, to make this easier, I made a 15 slide Powerpoint presentation over today’s topic, Fixing the Keurig Machine.”
Holy smokes. This person is also kissing the proverbial ass as well.
Unfortunately, I have no good advice for you other than to swallow painkillers before walking into the conference room.
Read about business meeting etiquette
How An Escape Room Can Help Your Company Meetings
Escape rooms started in Japan around 8 years ago, with the first US Escape room opening in San Francisco in 2012. Now, popping up all over the place, these escape rooms are a huge hit, specifically for companies. But why? What is it about them that is so intriguing and addictive?
The team building sessions create laughter, fun and a highly unique experience that will be remembered around your office for a very long time. The opportunity to practice and analyze skills in communication, organization, critical thinking, logic, and creativity in a high-pressure scenario. No one wants to be locked in a room. That right there gets the wheels spinning.
Once inside the room, players scurry to find the clues, from messages scrawled on a piece of paper to less obvious clues. This is not a treasure hunt, the focus is on how all the clues fit together and how you as a group can use deductive reasoning and your brainpower to make it out of the room. The experiential fun and teamwork would seem to be the objective. There is just so much going on and the clock is ticking. You really need to be aware and all there.
Escape rooms really give your brain a good workout. Many of the Escape rooms vary, but most require between 2 and 12 players in a room. Booking this new type of experience can really bring employees together. A training tool for better communication and teamwork. Sometimes the very thing your office needs is just in another environment. You may lose a little time by going on a “field trip”, but there is so much to gain. Have Fun and Good Luck!
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