We are willing to bet that a majority of your work meetings leave you feeling like you just lost a few hours of your life. Not every company can do walking-meetings a-la-Netflix, but there are quite a “un-comonsense” things you can do to make meetings short, to-the-point and most importantly, effective. Here are some things to try:
Make Your Meetings More Effective
What’s The Topic? If you’re in charge of the meeting, be sure to specify at the very beginning what the agenda of the meeting is. If someone else is the organizer, mail them in advance to ask what is going to be discussed.
Are You Needed? Most senior-management does this, but for the juniors it feels like they’re shirking a responsibility. Once you do know what a meeting is about, consider if your presence is necessary there. If not, excuse yourself and ask for minutes later.
Time Sensitivity: In a compelling video, Nicole Steinbok describes why it is good to have weird and wonderful times assigned to meetings. When you pick an unexpected number, people tend to remember it and be more conscious of ending it on time.
Space Out: Don’t schedule an hour-long meeting at 3PM, and the next one at 4PM. This way, you have absolutely no time left to even use the washroom in between. Leave at least a thirty-minute gap between your meetings.
Use Your Voice: Stop resorting to PowerPoint and visuals to make a point in meetings. Most often, clear communication does the job well enough. If there are data points you need to present, be sure to mail it to the attendees well in advance.
Do The Walkie Talkie: There’s a reason smartwatches are successful- they make people more conscious of things other than work. Case in point- walking meetings. These days, many executives find that walking around the office campus gives them ample exercise, as well as the opportunity to be agile during a meeting, as opposed to falling asleep on the boardroom chair.
Take Notes: And use a good old notepad, please. Many studies have found that digital gadgets reduce attention span, and thus the long-term retention, of information. Instead, use a paper and pen and actively take note of what is essential.
Keep The Video Calls Short: Video calls are just not the same as one-on-one meetings. So don’t waste time trying to talk about the weather, or cracking jokes. Get straight to the point and discuss.
Don’t Call It A Meeting: Sometimes, when the topic of discussion itself is simple, calling a formal meeting can make everyone feel like they’re supposed to contribute, and waste everyone’s time in the process. If you have something to discuss, do it on the go with small groups of people.
Have A Meeting Day: For all internal discussions, set aside one weekday when everyone can afford to take half a day to switch off from their commitments. Make the day and time standard.
What is the one tip that you think all meeting-goers should follow? Tell us in the comments!