Do you find yourself spending endless hours in meetings each week? I understand that this can be frustrating, but I’d like to share with you why meetings are vital, how they align your team, and provide the opportunity for everyone to be heard. Unfortunately, many times, we sit through meetings that accomplish nothing or even worse, destroy morale.
With the pandemic, the number of business meetings globally has increased by 153 percent. Many in-person conversations moved to virtual platforms and stayed there. The challenge is that virtual platforms have become hard habits to break, resulting in bad meetings that fail to achieve objectives.
To make meetings efficient, we must start with a clear purpose and plan. It’s essential to write a well-thought-out agenda that ensures the desired outcomes are achieved. A pro tip is to frame agenda items as questions and focus the discussion on answering each one. If there’s no compelling reason to meet, cancel it.
Guiding principles for meetings cover the meeting format, length, attendees, and other factors that inform overall planning. Send out an agenda in advance, set aside a dedicated question period, and encourage questions throughout. Ensure participants understand the expectations around contributing to the discussion. Always respect the scheduled length of a meeting, and if it runs shorter than anticipated, end it early.
Great meetings result in a sense of accomplishment. Participants leave feeling inspired and motivated to work. If you feel your team meetings aren’t achieving this, experiment with these ideas and find the right balance for your business.
In conclusion, meetings matter. Use them wisely, and they will become a valuable asset to your organization.