Many professionals find themselves attending a seemingly endless parade of dry, boring meetings as part of their work week. Good meetings are meant to motivate, organize and delegate responsibilities quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, ineffective meetings cause productivity to take a nosedive as they take employees away from their daily work and cut too much into an otherwise productive day. Here are a few tips for good meetings.
Use an Agenda
One reason so many meetings are ineffective is that they seem to drag on or wander off into irrelevant topics. A good meeting must use a clear, concise agenda in order to stay on track. Enforce a strict start and end time, allowing enough time for group discussion, individual presentations and questions at the end. Print the time limits for each part of the meeting right onto the agenda, and distribute it well ahead of time so each team member knows what to expect.
There are no laws that state every meeting must feature one talker amongst a room full of passive listeners. To get team members motivated and more involved, incorporate some interesting interactive exercises. Instead of the same old PowerPoint presentation, try using an inspirational online video or news story as a conversation starter. Using an icebreaker activity is another way to get everyone feeling relaxed and playful.
Switch it Up
Good meetings don't have to happen only in boardrooms. If weather permits, try having the meeting outside or at an off-site location such as a restaurant. If this isn't an option, try just moving to a different room in the office. A change of scenery is good for the mind and can keep the meeting from becoming too predictable and mundane.
The point of a good meeting is to delegate responsibilities and make sure everyone is doing their share. This is impossible to do without proper follow-up after the meeting. Once the meeting has adjourned, send every team member a summary of the topics discussed and the next steps. Take it a step further by including the name of the person responsible for each task, and check in with each person individually over the next few days to get progress updates and offer assistance. As each person completes their assigned tasks, have them also follow up with the group.
Regular meetings are a necessary part of office work life, but they don't have to be dull or useless. With time and a little extra effort, you can transform boring meetings into powerful, stimulating gatherings where great ideas are exchanged and everyone feels useful. A good meeting allows team members to feel inspired, so use these tips to rid your company of boring meetings forever.
Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net