We all spend a lot of time in meetings, and we’ve all spent time in meetings where nothing really got accomplished. As a leader, you can change the culture of meetings and make them more productive and collaborative by following these three simple steps:
- Only include agenda items that require a meeting. Some things require human interaction and collaborative thinking. Problems that don’t have solutions yet, or conflicts that haven’t been explored. Meetings are best used when we need to take time to let creative solutions emerge.
- Everyone necessary should be present. Sometimes we send our bodies to meetings while our mind focuses on other things. Pull folks out of their smartphones by including agenda items that focus on decisions that make a difference.
- Communicate what needs to be accomplished beforehand. No one should be hearing about something for the first time in a meeting. Send out an agenda beforehand to let folks know what to expect, and give them time to process and prepare before they arrive.
By following these three tips, you can create an environment where attendees become active participants. In other words, great meetings are not only pointed at getting things done, but also create an atmosphere of reflection, focus, and collaboration.
“We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves.” – George Matthew Adams