If there is one aspect of the work day that most employees would agree to be an absolute pain, it’s countless, pointless, roundabout, inconclusive, why didn’t you just email this info, meetings. Meetings are the foremost bane of workers existence and if they all could be completely done away with without affecting workflow, a 95% favor vote would be cast immediately.
We live in a no perfect world, however, so meetings it is. The least we can do is put a protocol in place that must be strictly adhered to, to ensure that meetings don’t someday destroy us. That protocol can be found below.
- Timeliness. If the meeting is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., guess when it shouldn’t begin—1:05. Start on time every time. This will train attendees to arrive on time, eliminating late stragglers and a waste of time. If the meeting is set to end at 1:30 p.m., let that set time be the latest. There is work to be done and planning of the work day often revolves around that valuable time spent away.
- Define the agenda. Know exactly what the purpose of the meeting is, and what you hope to have accomplished by meetings-end prior to starting the meeting. Have a tight agenda for attendees to follow so that everyone may come prepared and leave knowing next steps.
- Clear calls to action. Each meeting attendee should leave the meeting knowing exactly what needs to be done for things to move forward. Avoid vagueness. Be clear, concise, and direct about what’s expected after the meeting and offer tight, agreed upon, deadlines.
- Avoid redundancies. State it. Mean it. Clarify if need be, and move forward. Repeating yourself over and over in order to drive a point home, and/or repeating what someone else has already stated simply to hear yourself speak is counterproductive, annoying, and highly discouraged. If someone arrives late to the meeting and must be caught up on what has already been discussed, set aside a later time to do so.
- Put your phones away. It’s distracting, it’s rude, and it more than likely can wait until the meeting is over. If you aren’t using your phone to take meeting notes, give it a rest. The person who is conducting the meeting surely would like your undivided attention. The better you pay attention, the quicker the points are made, the faster the meeting is over.
- Consider email. Ask yourself if the meeting is absolutely necessary. If what you’re addressing in the meeting can be handled with a group email and replies, opt for this means of communication. Schedules are tight, employees are busy, and time is valuable. Respect it.
Have any tips of your own to tighten work meetings up? Please do share. We all could use your help.