We’ve all sat in a meeting where we wondered what’s the purpose, why are we here and what we are supposed to accomplish. And if we are honest, we may have led meetings that didn’t meet the mark.
Harvard Business Review surveyed 182 senior managers from various industries, where 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient.
Here are five (5) ways to maximize your efficiency and effectiveness of team meetings:
1-Prepare a Clear Agenda
- List the topics, outcomes and how much time will be spent on each topic.
- Add the purpose of the meeting to the top of your agenda.
- Distribute the agenda ahead of time. Some DiSC styles need time to process the information before responding. Give your team the courtesy of properly preparing and eliminate the “meeting after the meeting”.
Lack of participation during meetings can cause frustration for everyone, and withholding information is a sign of team dysfunction. Think about what could be contributing to this problem:
- Did you invite you invite the right people to the meeting that are knowledgeable to speak on the topic?
- Are your team members somehow communicating something with their silence?
- Be clear you want a conversation. Ask: “What are we missing?” and “What have we not thought of?” to create an environment that welcomes different points of view.
3-Shorten Your Meeting Time
One hour is the standard meeting time most people; however, to minimize wasting time, cap your meetings at 30 minutes or less for problem-solving. This provides laser focus for the one or two meeting items that you outlined in your agenda. Then if you need more time, schedule the next discussion and its purpose.
Do participants feel they need to agree with the majority or stay silent? As a leader, you will naturally have a psychological hierarchy in the team. Avoid sharing your thoughts first as it tends to set the stage for everyone else to follow. Go last and encourage your team to come up with a strong solution.
5-Improve Your Facilitation Skills
If a significant portion of your job is to lead meetings, invest in improving your facilitation skills. A well-run meeting is done so with intent and design. A good facilitator can help to maintain the flow, curtail any dominating thoughts or ideas, and create the space for team members to contribute without feeling scared or intimidated.
We each have 1440 minutes in a day. Maximize your results by improving your meetings.