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Make Your Meetings More Manageable with These Six Tips

According to a Harvard Business Review poll of 182 senior executives, many feel meetings are too frequent, poorly timed, and badly run. Consider this research:

  • Meetings take up 23 hours of a workweek, up from 10 hours in the 1960s.
  • Meetings can encourage dysfunctional behaviors such as wandering off-topic, complaining about co-workers, and criticizing attendees. Companies that allow this to happen have lower levels of market share, less innovation, and experience higher employee turnover.
  • 71% of meetings are considered unproductive.
  • 65% of senior managers said that meetings keep them from completing their work.
  • 62% stated meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together.

While this is not good news, there are simple ways to fix these problems. Here are the elements of an extraordinary meeting (either live or virtual).


Six Elements of a Great Meeting


  1. Establish a clear agenda that is sent out several days in advance.
    People need to know why they are there and what is to be covered. In addition, the agenda should identify the location (either virtual, face-to-face, or hybrid) and the time commitment required.

  2. Start and end on time. 
    This shows a sign of respect. Don't repeat information if people come in late. Make the meeting as long as necessary to cover the topics, but not a minute longer.

  3. Stop holding regular meetings.
    Don't have a meeting every Monday unless you have a reason to do so. Instead, bring people together when it makes sense to do so.  

  4. Put in place a great facilitator.
    Not only can this person keep the discussion on track, but they can also draw out quieter individuals.

  5. If your meeting is face-to-face, hold stand-up meetings.
    This meeting type can reduce group time by 25-35 percent!

  6. Delegate someone to go in your place.
    Do you need to be there? If not, send your assistant or employee to attend in your place. Ensure they will take good notes and allow them to vote on any matters on your behalf.



Benefits of Great Meetings


Meetings are essential for the following reasons:

  • Enables collaboration
    There's nothing like a meeting to obtain fresh ideas, different opinions and to drive consensus.

  • Fosters creativity and innovation
    Brainstorming can garner more revenue, solve product glitches, or fix operational efficiencies. In addition, it allows key stakeholders to move forward on critical items.

  • Builds trust
    The more your team meets, the more they get to know each other. When trust is formed, individuals will feel safe speaking up and expressing their opinions. The hope is long-term relationships will ensue.

  • Deliver the same message at the same time
    Whether it's a training, company announcement, or HR initiative, meetings are the way to deliver helpful content to your employees in one fell swoop.

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