Getting the Most Out of Meetings

Joe Weinlick
Posted by in Management & Business

Without careful preparation and meeting execution, an office meeting can be a stressful time for everyone involved. You can execute a successful office meeting by using a few simple tips and techniques.

Inform Everyone Early

A manager or employee who gets invited to an office meeting at the last minute may fail to make the best use of the time. Make sure that everyone is informed well ahead of time to have an office meeting with fewer complications. Sending out a copy of the agenda is a simple way to prepare everyone for the topics up for discussion during the office meeting. Make sure everyone receives copies of important documents and other information of interest to fully prepare the staff for a productive discussion. Encourage employees and fellow managers to come up with a list of questions or concerns to share as well. Make sure the required workers know if a meeting is mandatory, but allow opt-outs for participants who do not need to attend.

Keep It Short

An office meeting that seems to go on forever is bound to bore everyone in attendance. In order to keep attendees engaged, the discussion should be kept as short as possible. Use a timer to keep each segment from going over the allotted time period, fostering a more productive discussion. If multiple speakers are expected to talk during the office meeting, allow each person to go on for no more than five or 10 minutes.

Record Your Meeting

Consider recording your office meeting session with a video camera, voice recorder or smartphone. Playing back the recording from an office meeting makes it easier to recall the information shared, important questions asked and the best solutions given. By studying the recording at a later time, you do not have to focus on taking detailed notes during the discussion, allowing everyone to remain fully engaged in the discussion from beginning to end.

Allow Anonymous Feedback

Many employees do not wish to share their true opinions in the presence of a manager, so they may not participate during the meeting. Allow both employees and managers to submit anonymous feedback and other ideas after the discussion if they choose. This gives employees an outlet to share information and ideas with staff without being judged by everyone. You can set up a reply box to use after the meeting, or tell employees to drop comments off in the human resources department.

Holding effective office meetings is necessary for workplace harmony and success. Aim to tackle only a few matters at a time during each meeting to keep everyone focused and raise workforce efficiency. Consider what tactics worked best at previous meetings, and re-implement those same strategies for future meetings.


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