Do your subordinates perceive workplace meetings as boring and futile? Have you given a thought on making them more interesting? Making your meetings more fun shall spontaneously make them more interesting and productive as you begin to achieve the underlying objectives. Holding meetings with your team is one of the best means of strengthening interpersonal relationships, boosting morale, identifying the predicaments and coming up with solutions as a team, thereby promoting team effort.
We bring to you five simple tips that will turn dreary business meetings into a productive exercise.
Define a Concrete Purpose
Don’t hold meetings just because you think it’s been a long time since everyone came together. A meeting must have a well-defined objective that cannot be attained by means of direct communication with individual team members. Inviting people in the boardroom for a random talk is a waste of time and productivity. You will end up undermining the concept of meetings.
Design an Agenda
Holding a meeting without an agenda is a terrible thing to do. An agenda lists out the areas of focus both open and new, usually arranged in descending order of their importance. It also indicates the time limit allotted to the discussion of each area. An agenda helps participants gain familiarity with the subject matter of the meeting. It also ensures you do not miss out on any vital issues. An agenda will keep the discussion on the predetermined course and prevent any deviations from the topics at hand.
It is essential that you maintain the number of attendees to a minimum. The agenda will enable you to point out important people who must attend the meeting. Therefore, you won’t end up calling people who will have little-to-no contribution towards the cause.
Finally, you must strictly adhere to the agenda to make your meeting an effective one.
Utilize the Online Meeting Tools
If the attendees are based in different regions of the world, it really makes no sense for you or them to travel to the place of meeting. Travelling would be a waste of time and money. Why not use online meeting tools to circumvent the travel? These are web-enabled platforms that use webcams and microphones through which you and the other participants can talk face-to-face.
Most of you might ask that why use online meeting tools instead of conference calls. Conference calls are certainly a cost-effective option. Nevertheless, they do not guarantee high levels of involvement on the part of all the attendees. A webcam will make the attendees conscious and induce them to focus on the meeting.
Cut to the Chase
Let us be factual. No one is fond of business meetings. You can keep the participants interested in the discussion till the end by keeping the meeting short. It is believed that the most effective meetings are wrapped up within thirty to forty-five minutes. The logic behind keeping the meetings brief is that the human mind subsequently begins to lose concentration.
Commence and end the meetings on the predetermined time mentioned in the agenda. If any issues need extended discussions, simply schedule an exclusive meeting at a later date and continue with the subsequent topic. Do not forget to get one of the participants take notes during the meeting.
Lay Down Some Rules
Lastly, setting some rules such as not allowing late-comers in the boardroom and prohibiting phones and laptops therein will enhance the way the meeting is conducted.
Business meetings are all about discussing issues of strategic importance. A meeting must entail a tangible outcome and an action plan. Conducting meetings effectively is indeed an art every manager should master.
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