May 10, 2013
Don’t Meet Just to Meet
You’re not really a fan, your employees are probably indifferent or negative about them, your friends are tired of hearing you complain about them, and there are only so many times your significant other can pretend to care about them.
Whether you like it or not, if you are a part of any organization you’re going to have meetings. Short ones, long ones, useful ones and downright useless ones. The most common are complaints of inefficient, unorganized meetings. If you are running a meeting you want your meetings to fall into the categories of a useful one, but how do you do it? Here are just a couple of tips for streamlining your meetings:
1. Start on time
Even if no one is there. Trust me. All it will take is one time of your employees showing up a couple of minutes late only to see you are having a meeting with an empty room and they will be five minutes early to the next one.
2. Have an agenda
This gives your employees a chance to see what they will be talking about and without knowing it will begin thinking and preparing for those topics to come up. It also gives them incentive to say what they need to say, knowing that they will get out of the meeting as soon as they have discussed all the necessary topics.
3. Make specific assignments
For some reason those who conduct meetings seem convinced that if they talk about a problem, come up with a solution and then say “Ok! So we’ll have to get on that right away” that someone will automatically assume you are talking about them. Don’t assume. Assignments are some of the most simple things to make. Following a discussion of a problem and the subsequent solution try saying something like, “John, would you please take care of that and report back to me next week?”
4. Follow up
It does absolutely nothing to make an assignment if you are not going to follow up. If you make an assignment and never follow up on it, you’re sending the “What I assigned you to do isn’t very important” message loud and clear to your employee, so don’t get too mad when it doesn’t get done the next time.
5. End on time
Ever been in an appointment, church meeting, speech, etc. that went 15 minutes over? Guess what? You weren’t listening those last 15 minutes and neither are your employees. All they are thinking about is the other activities they had planned during the extra time you are taking up.
Before the meeting ends go over a list of the assignments that have been made. This way the assignments will be fresh in everyone’s mind as they leave. In addition, it gives a clear goal of what to do following the meeting.
What types of things have you done to make meetings more efficient?