Is your calendar overflowing with meetings? As they can be a major disruption to your workday and productivity, we believe you should only have a meeting when there’s something worth sharing.
Personally speaking, there are lots of meetings I’ve sat through and thought, this is a complete waste of my time!
Most of us want to be productive and we can often end up feeling like time spent in a meeting could be better spent elsewhere.
The most common causes of ineffective meetings are no clear aim, no agenda or no clear outcomes.
At times attendees can end up leaving with more questions than answers!
Jason Fried is an advocate of just sacking meetings and seeing what happens. But what if you need to have a team meeting?
The ability to run effective meetings can be a critical skill to have as a manager… So, how can you do it right?
Let’s look at nine tips to help you run effective team meetings.
1. Identify the Purpose of the Meeting
First off, ask yourself, what do I hope to achieve with this meeting? You need to be specific.
Once you have the meeting’s goal and objectives, you can then start to think about when to schedule it and get cracking on an agenda.
2. Create an Agenda
Creating an agenda will help keep your meeting on track. Start with an outline of the themes you want to cover.
Once you have your structure in place, assign a time limit to each section. This will help prevent the meeting from overrunning or later sections being neglected.
3. Add Discussion Topics
Now, it’s time to add some meat to the bones!
Under each section, detail discussion topics in bullet points. The more detailed you are here, the better.
Adding discussion topics will help to keep the meeting on target and remind you what the objective is.
4. Share the Agenda BEFORE the Meeting
By sharing the agenda before the meeting, you give attendees a chance to prepare and get familiar with the topics of discussion.
This should help you get started straight away and team members will hopefully come to the meeting full of ideas and solutions.
If you’re using a team collaboration tool like Tameday to schedule the meeting, you can simply attach your agenda to the event.
5. Who’s Taking Notes?
Notes will be a written record of the meeting — what’s been discussed, actions and who’s been assigned what.
Notes are great for sharing with those who were unable to attend or had to leave early.
Assign someone to do this. It can be done digitally or old school using pen and paper, then typed up.
If you’re using Tameday, you can then simply add these notes to the meeting event.
Jeff Bezos’ Three Rules for Meetings at Amazon
- He creates teams that are no larger than can be fed by two pizzas.
- No PowerPoints are used. Instead, six-page structured memos of sentences, not bullet points, are prepared in advance.
- Everybody sits around the table and reads the memo silently for 30 mins or however long it takes. Then, they discuss it.
6. Start on Time
If you want to achieve your goals and outcomes, it’s best to start a meeting on time.
Otherwise, you end up wasting everyone’s time for someone who might not show up at all.
If someone comes in late and see you’ve started without them, then next time they may make more of an effort to be there on time.
The first five minutes of a meeting are the most important as they set the tone for the rest of the meeting.
You should establish why the meeting has been called, how long it will last and what needs to be done.
You might say something like:
“We are here to talk about X and to come to a decision and resolution on this problem. Here is the information that we have and the alternatives we’ve considered.”
7. Encourage Participation
For an effective meeting, you need to create an environment where everyone is willing to share their ideas and thoughts.
Effective leaders will take on the role of a facilitator and encourage those who are less confident to share their thoughts and ideas.
This is another benefit of sharing the agenda before the meeting — most attendees should hopefully have had time to think and come ready with questions and ideas.
8. Assign Actions
As the meeting progresses, a number of resulting action items should be created.
If you’re a Tameday user, you can easily set the action items up as to-dos during or after the meeting and assign them to the relevant member of your team.
It’s a good idea to agree upon and set a realistic completion date for each action item.
9. Share Information
If you’re still using email, try to share the notes and outcomes of the meeting as soon as possible.
One of tthe benefits of using Tameday for note-taking and task assignment is that by the time team members have returned to their desks they will have the meeting outcomes and any action items will be in their to-do lists.
It really is a more efficient and effective way of running a meeting (and a team)!
When it comes to meetings, we believe there are lots that can be avoided by using instant chat or online discussion platforms.
So, next time you need to set up a team meeting, take a moment to think if there’s another way the information can be shared with others.
We do understand there are times when meeting in person is necessary — for these meetings to be effective, they need to be well-planned using the advice outlined above.
If you want to use Tameday to run the different aspects of a meeting: share an agenda, notes and task assignment… then you can sign up for a free 30-day trial and start boosting your team’s productivity today!