How to Run an Effective Meeting to Maximise Productivity
According to The Mandarin, employees spend 5.6 hours a week in meetings. And 70% felt that they were unproductive meetings. According to them, meetings lack efficiency because they’re not properly planned or structured, and team members don’t engage actively. If you’re like most people, you probably think of regular meetings as a necessary evil. But what if they didn’t have to be? What if we could all learn how to run an effective meeting that would boost productivity and get everyone on the same page? In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips for running an effective meeting. Read on and learn how to make your next meeting a success.
What makes an effective meeting?
Meetings are a necessary part of many businesses and organizations, but they often get a bad rap. Too often, bad meetings are seen as time wasted by people to gather and talk without actually accomplishing anything. However, when done correctly, meetings can be an effective way to share information, solicit input, and make decisions. So what makes an effective meeting? First, it’s important to have clear meeting objectives. What is the goal that you’re hoping to achieve? Without a clear purpose, it’s easy for meetings to go off track. Second, make sure that only the relevant stakeholders are in attendance. There’s no need to have everyone in the company sit through a meeting about a specific project unless they’re directly involved. Third, keep the meeting focused and on topic. This means having a strong meeting facilitator who can keep things moving and prevent tangents. Finally, end with clear next steps. Everyone should leave the meeting knowing what needs to be done and by when.
An effective meeting revolves around respect for other people’s time, other people’s ideas and opinions, and good communication. Make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate, while still sticking to the agenda. Also, try to come up with solutions instead of just discussing problems.
Tips for Running an Effective Meeting
Running a successful meeting isn’t always easy. But with a little organisation and some careful planning, you can make sure your next meeting is a success. Here are our top tips for running an effective meeting.
Determine if it really requires a meeting or just an email
The first step to running an effective meeting is deciding whether a meeting is actually necessary. Before scheduling any meetings, ask yourself if the issue can be addressed via email or other communication methods. If so, consider skipping the meeting altogether and sending out a summary of your thoughts instead. This will help save everyone’s time – especially those who have to travel to the meeting location.
Ask yourself why you’re having the meeting
Before you start putting together an agenda, take a moment to consider why you’re having the meeting in the first place. Is it to discuss a project? To brainstorm ideas? To make decisions? Knowing exactly what your goals and objectives are for the meeting will help ensure that everyone stays focused and on task.
Determine what type of meeting you’re having
Knowing what kind of meeting you’re having will determine how much time to allocate for it. For example, if you’re having a brainstorming session, the length of the meeting should be more flexible than if you were having a decision-making meeting. Here are other kinds of meetings for different needs:
- Discussion or brainstorming meetings: to share ideas, opinions and solutions
- Virtual or remote meeting: for online discussions
- Meetings for training sessions: to teach others something new
- Decision-making meetings: to make decisions or come to a consensus
- Status update or check-in meetings: to review progress on projects
- Planning meetings: to plan for the future projects
- Problem-solving meetings: to identify and tackle challenges
- Team-building meetings: to foster team spirit and collaboration
- One-on-one meetings: to provide individual support to members of the team
- Hybrid meetings: to combine in-person meetings and virtual meetings into one
Set a clear meeting agenda and timeline
A productive meeting starts with a solid agenda. Make sure that everyone is clear on the topics that will be discussed, as well as the expected outcomes of each item. Also, set time limits for each agenda item so everyone can stay focused and on track. If possible, provide your attendees with the agenda in advance so that they can prepare for the meeting.
Start on Time. End on Time.
It’s important to start and end your meeting on time. If you don’t, then it can create a feeling of disrespect or even contempt towards the attendees. Start by welcoming everyone, setting the agenda and reminding people of the expected outcomes of the meeting.
Consider booking a meeting room
Depending on the size of your team meeting, you may want to consider booking a meeting room. This can be helpful if there are multiple participants from various locations. It also helps to keep things professional and avoid distractions such as background noise. Meeting rooms for hire often also come with free use of video conferencing technology, whiteboards and smart screens to help facilitate discussion.
Create a productive environment
The right environment is essential for effective meetings. Ensure that everyone feels comfortable by providing enough seating and being mindful of temperature and lighting. Ask open-ended questions to encourage participation, and make sure to provide ample breaks throughout the meeting so people can regroup and stay focused.
Invite the right people
Before you finalize your attendee list, make sure you are only inviting the right people. Ask yourself two questions: Are they necessary to achieve the goal of the meeting? And can they contribute something valuable? Respect your meeting participants’ time and avoid inviting too many people to a single meeting. Your invite list should only consist of team members who are relevant stakeholders to the project you are discussing.
Make it a stand-up meeting if possible.
If you’re having a short meeting, consider making it a stand-up. This will help keep the meeting focused and ensure that it doesn’t drag on for too long. Standing up also encourages more open communication since people are less likely to be distracted by their laptops or phones.
Establish Ground Rules
If you’re having longer meetings or meetings with frequent attendees, it’s a good idea to establish some ground rules. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and keep conversations focused and respectful. Some potential ground rules could include:
- No side conversations
- No eating or drinking during meetings
- Raise your hand before speaking
- Stay on topic and avoid tangents
- Listen to others and be respectful of their opinions
Having rules in place could help ensure that you’ll have an efficient meeting. Just make sure the meeting leader lays them out before the meeting begins.
Keep the meeting moving
Meetings should move at a steady pace. You don’t want to have a meeting where people talk over one another or interrupt each other. To keep things flowing smoothly, try using a timer. Using a timer can help keep the meeting moving along. The timer can also be used to remind people when it’s time to take a break.
Let Them Speak
Allow everyone to have a chance to be heard. Make sure that all voices are heard in order to ensure fairness and respect for all participants. If someone is dominating the conversation, make sure to give other people an opportunity to speak their minds.
Actively include remote attendees
If you have remote attendees joining in, make sure to give them an equal chance to participate. Ask everyone for their opinion and be mindful of any potential delays caused by technology or language barriers. Provide a way for them to ask questions during the meeting, such as a chatbox or other online polling tool.
Avoid Side Discussions
Side conversations can be a major distraction to the participants of a meeting. Ask meeting attendees to hold off on side conversations until after the meeting is over, or assign someone to take notes during discussions and then review them later.
Ditch long meetings for frequent meetings
Long meetings can be draining and unproductive. When possible, opt for shorter, more frequent meetings rather than one long meeting. This will help keep conversations focused and give everyone a chance to catch up on progress and discuss any issues that arise.
Assign a note-taker and a meeting facilitator
Assigning a note-taker and a meeting facilitator can help keep the conversation focused and on track. The facilitator should make sure everyone is given an opportunity to speak, while the note-taker records meeting minutes and other important decisions and action items.
Suggested reading: Coworking vs Working From Home: What’s Right for You?
Take advantage of meeting tools and technology
There are plenty of tools and technology available to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of meetings. From video conferencing platforms to online whiteboards, there are a variety of options that can help make meetings more productive, efficient, and engaging
Don’t Forget the Q&A
Give everyone the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the meeting. This will ensure that all topics are addressed before wrapping up. It will also give participants a chance to get clarification on any issues that may have been missed during the meeting.
End with Clear Actions, Owners, and Timelines
At the end of the meeting, make sure that you have a clear action plan. What are the next steps? Who is responsible for each task? When should they be done by? Having a meeting recap and a detailed action items will help ensure that everyone stays on track and accountable. A clear output is also a sign that you have a productive discussion.
Follow up after the meeting
Once the meeting is over, follow up with any action items to make sure they are completed in a timely manner. Following up also shows your participants that you value their input and appreciate their contributions. It’s also a good idea to send out meeting notes or meeting minutes so that everyone is on the same page.
Give your meeting feedback
At the end of the meeting, ask for feedback from your attendees. What did they like about the meeting? What could have gone better? Taking the time to listen and address any issues is a great way to ensure that everyone feels respected and valued.
Give these effective meeting strategies a try and see how much more productive your meetings become.
Say goodbye to inefficient meetings with Mobo Co’s meeting rooms
Mobo Co‘s meeting rooms are designed for efficient meetings. Whether you need a meeting room for a small team or a large boardroom for a corporate event, Mobo Co has the perfect space for you.
We have a range of meeting room hire options to suit your needs, from small meeting rooms to large boardrooms. Our conference facilities can accommodate up to 40 guests, and our team is hands-on to help make your meeting a success.
Available to physical and virtual members alike, our meeting rooms can be hired for workshops, conference calls, client meet-ups and any occasion that you might need more capacity or privacy than your office.
Learn more about our available meeting rooms.