When meetings become demonstrably more effective, they spread a virus of energy and optimism across … Meetings can come with huge costs, both in productivity and in time used, so you need to take the time to carefully and thoughtfully determine those that can make unique and relevant contributions to the meeting. We have our regular monthly organization meetings, special task force meetings to work on, urgent actions, and committee meetings … Because last-minute business travel and WFH days happen. Effective meetings are interesting, high-energy events where team members work together to make decisions or solve problems. Once you’re sure that a meeting is necessary, the next step will be to create clear, concise, and well-defined purpose, goals, and objectives. They provide a unique chance for people at all levels of the business to hear directly from executives and other decision-makers – and, if you include time for Q&A, vice-versa. An efficient meeting starts promptly, stays on track due to good time management, includes as few people as possible, and achieves the stated objective. March 13, 2019 John Keyser Efficiency, Leadership, Success Factors 0. What’s important is how you use the time you have – however long that is. It’s almost impossible for someone to be going through their phone and still focus on the meeting. Department and company all-hands meetings are a notable exception. Too often, people call … If the meeting centers on a decision, don’t let your team members off the hook and settle for a “maybe.” Push for that decision or recommendation so people can start pursuing action items as soon as they walk out of the room. You can also build trust by asking questions that prompt a deeper discussion, even when you think you know the answer. This guide will walk you through some ground rules to help you organize and run productive meetings. An effective meeting is like Burning Man: there are no spectators – only participants! Same goes for knowing whether to hold a meeting in the first place, and what to do afterward to make sure it wasn’t a waste of time. (for recurring meetings) Are we holding this meeting on the right cadence? A lot of times, we interchangeably use the words “effective” and “efficient.”. Effective Meeting Strategies: 6 Tips to Run an Effective Meeting. Effective meeting strategies pdf recommend that the chairperson goes over what has been discussed, what the conclusions are, and what is expected of the participants. (And what is a group of people in a meeting, if not a temporary team?) What are effective meetings? Most of us don’t have formal training in meeting management skills, but anyone can learn to do it well. Chances are, the meeting will be more successful this way. Over the course of speaking to more than 500 chief executives for my weekly Corner Office column, I have learned the rules to running an effective meeting. It puts everyone on a level playing field and encourages more balanced participation. And few things are a bigger waste of time than recurring meetings that no longer provide any value to attendees (or the business). Efficiency is a superficial quality. To be sure, you want to invite the minimum number of people needed to achieve your goal. Err on the side of sharing with more people than is strictly necessary. But there are ways to run effective, efficient meetings that leave your employees feeling energized and excited about their work. If you’ve done a good job gathering a group with diverse knowledge and perspectives, everyone will be “the odd one out” in one way or another. Key elements of an effective meeting include starting and ending on time, addressing all agenda items in full and summarizing the results of the meeting … Were the meeting’s purpose and agenda clear? In our age of globally distributed companies, a bit of thought around timing is key to effective meeting management. He is also the host of The Career Insider Podcast and the co-host of The C.A.R.E. Your next job is to assign the action steps that need to be taken after the meeting. In reality, … Consider using the DACI method to clarify each person’s role in the decision: driver, approver, contributor, or informed. You see, as much as it’s excellent to hold efficient meetings, efficiency is more of a superficial quality than anything else. In contrast, the junior employees sit around watching the conversation and refraining from making any contribution to avoid being reprimanded (or to avoid feeling inept). Few things are more irksome than the person who sends a meeting invite with no indication whatsoever of what will happen in the meeting, and therefore invitees have no clue as to why they’re being invited. Our capacity for creative thinking is the highest right after sleep, so schedule that brainstorming session first thing in the morning. They begin and end on time. These things are important; however, they are fundamental. Keep on top of your work from home life with these tips and ideas from our team to yours. Click to tweet. We’re all aware of how addictive these tech gadgets and their applications can be. Please allow me to call bullshit on that. It will keep the teammates accountable and make expectations clear. The meeting leader sets a positive, productive tone for interaction among the meeting participants. Carefully select only those individuals who should attend. An effective meeting brings a thoughtfully selected group of people together for a specific purpose, provides a forum for open discussion, and delivers a tangible result: a decision, a plan, a list … At the very least, a good meeting will center on a productive discussion that will be more effective in real time than asynchronously via emails or comment threads. Your job now is to take advantage of that diversity by making sure everyone is (and feels) heard. It’ll make you think twice about your attendee list! A good team meeting helps teams align on … For this reason, you need to make your meetings more inclusive. Understanding how to run effective meetings is one of the most crucial skills employees at all levels need to learn to thrive at work – but it isn’t merely a matter of doing the obvious things like sharing an agenda and starting meetings on time. Plus, we’re less likely to be distracted by a looming list of tasks for the day. use of verbal and written communication contribute to the objectives being achieved While those things are important, they’re just table stakes. Starting and ending your meetings on time not only builds your integrity as a trust-worthy timekeeper. Before you schedule the meeting, ask yourself this: “what are we looking to achieve with this meeting?”. The Journal of Organizational Behavior found in a recent study that time-wasting is usually unacceptable in all other aspects of business life, but “in the case of meetings, wasted time seems to be an accepted norm.”. I’d even argue that starting and ending on time isn’t absolutely critical for success. If you’re doing meetings right, they are where “real work” gets done. Things like presentations and status updates often masquerade themselves as essential, but they aren’t that important – these activities can be handled asynchronously via emails, chat, company intranets, etc. And it’s okay if the whole team is not in full agreement with the decision. One minute you’re checking your email for any important email that you might have received, the next minute, you’re either playing Candy Crush or scrolling through your infinite Facebook NewsFeed. The job of facilitators is to keep people on track with the agenda of the meeting. Another way you can tackle such a situation is to hand over the responsibility of taking notes to anybody that tries to dominate the meeting. Your meeting agenda might have just one item. Culture, tech, teams, and tips, delivered twice a month, Meetings should never be held for the sole purpose of sharing information, Department and company all-hands meetings, we solve problems best later in the day when our minds are a bit tired, 6 meeting hacks (and 1 weird tip) that build trust, build trust by asking questions that prompt a deeper discussion, 47% of workers complain that meetings are where productivity goes to die, More on DACI in the Atlassian Team Playbook, Here’s a handy “effective meetings” cheat-sheet you can download, 5 employee engagement ideas that build authentic connections, How to boost your team’s success with shared mental models, 4 communication styles and how to navigate them in the workplace, How to run a remote retrospective and have fun doing it, Finding a meeting location outside the office, Preparing a snazzy slide deck (death to all “consume information” meetings!). There are many alternatives to meetings that are more effective and efficient than having suboptimal meetings. Sharing the meeting agenda in advance helps you get straight down to business, as it will give the attendees the time to familiarize themselves with the discussion points. Atlassian meetings typically capture all that stuff as a page in Confluence (the wiki-flavored intranet tool we make) and share the page with everyone on the invite list and other relevant people. “But I can concentrate on the meeting while checking my social media or by email,” some might argue. “Oh, but I can focus on the topic at hand and check my email at the same time,” some might say. And do so publicly so that others will know that you care about their opinions too. You might not reach full agreement, but that’s okay. Was it easy for you to contribute to the discussion? Here are some tips: 1, Make your objective clear. However, it doesn’t mean that you invite everyone to every meeting in the company (see number 4). It can mean interrupting someone for speaking longer than necessary, calling out participants for drifting off the topic or summarizing the next action steps to be taken. Reinforce your desired culture; meetings are carriers of organizational culture. Even for co-located participants, meeting time can make a difference. The fact that you’re still reading means you’re committed to running a great meeting. It involves carefully and thoughtfully selecting the right group of people, for the right purpose to deliver tangible results that will add value to the organization. The team at Trello does this if even one person is remote. Job done, right? Crossed wires and missed connections - good communication among teams is tablestakes for effective teamwork. Assign these action steps with a deadline to specific individuals or teams when possible. (Depending on your company culture, that might not be strictly necessary, but it’s always polite.). An effective meeting agenda clearly states meeting goals and discussion topics. For any meeting to be effective, it needs to have a clear, concise, and well-defined purpose, goals, and objectives. Running effective meetings isn’t simply a matter of doing the obvious things like sharing the agenda and starting on time. Teams are made up of individuals, and they function best when each member is happy, healthy, and productive. It involves creating a safe space where others can freely express their thoughts, ideas and opinions without the fear of judgment or being looked down upon — a place where a person’s view is more important than their title. Furthermore, workers consider roughly half of their meetings to be a waste of time, and 73% confess to sneaking in some real work during meetings. As the meeting organizer and facilitator, you have a chance to lead by example and be the first to broach a controversial topic or offer an unusual perspective or idea. An effective meeting serves a useful purpose. Optimal lighting of the meeting room or venue. In the best-case scenario, a meeting’s purpose is to make a decision or create something collaboratively. Encourage the lone representative from Finance to share how the decision would affect her team. It is written in a way that helps team members get on the same page, before, during, and after the meeting, … Have Fewer, Better Meetings. You weren’t born to sit in meetings. First of all, summarize the meeting and the decisions made. Using this knowledge — you can engineer your meetings so that in the first 30 seconds of the meeting, you can share the most interesting points of the meeting to arouse the interest of the attendees. Okay, statistics nerds, here are a few gems for you. If one person starts to dominate the meeting, ask them to take over the role of capturing notes on the whiteboard. Use your best judgment. Using all the tips I have outlined here — you can run effective meetings that will have everyone feeling inspired rather than frustrated. It creates more room for creativity to take place. Sharing information should never be the sole purpose of holding a meeting, with the notable exception of department and company all-hands meetings. What is an effective meeting? A: Know if your virtual meeting was effective by asking for feedback in your meeting follow-up email. Inclusivity is more of a mindset than anything else. To summarize — hold a meeting only when necessary. Because governmental bodies and other groups and organizations must conduct much of their business through meetings… Plus, nobody likes being the giant head on the TV screen at the front of the room. Collaboration brings the best in people and allows them to contribute and share. Known as psychological safety, this is one of the leading indicators of a high-performing team. How long “too long” is, and how deep “too deep” is, is up to the facilitator to decide). 47% of workers complain that meetings are where productivity goes to die. The only introvert… the only person from Finance… the person who just started last week. Some note-taking apps also allow you to collaborate in real-time. Meetings are vital for the work of any organization. Sadly, there’s no magic formula for balancing cost against the potential for creativity. Our focus relaxes, so we’re able to see more opportunities and connect more dots. A meeting involves talking WITH teammates, not AT them. Effective Meeting Management. Unfortunately, the reverse seems to be the case. If you’re making an announcement that affects a few of your staff — then inviting the whole company to the meeting is entirely unnecessary; you only need to invite those that will be affected by such an announcement. Taking notes during meetings is not just a good habit, but a necessary one. When everyone is on the same page and aware of what should be done, even the most challenging tasks can be completed. People need assurance that stepping outside the norm won’t be a career-ending move. You also need to keep the number of attendees to the barest minimum. You can say something like: “We appreciate your opinions and contributions, we do, but we need to hear other people’s opinions too so that we can make the most informed decision.”. These meetings can be very annoying and disruptive to your daily routine. Video conferencing is the closest thing to being there face-to-face, and fortunately, there are loads of options available: from enterprise systems like Zoom (used by teams at Atlassian) to group video chat. It’s really hard to keep track of exactly what everyone around you is up to, or how the outcome of your meeting will intersect with their work. About The Author: Nissar Ahamed is the Founder & CEO of CareerMetis.com, a publication dedicated to helping job seekers and freelancers with actionable advice and resources. Identify the purpose and goal of the meeting A “parking lot” on the whiteboard is an easy way to capture ideas, topics, and questions that are out of scope for the moment and keep the meeting moving along. An Effective Meeting is one where it’s objectives where accomplished within the stated timeframe. Active listening involves focusing all your attention on the speaker, pay attention to their words, gestures, tone of voice, and even facial expressions, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak. You’ve determined if a meeting is necessary, you’ve clearly defined the purpose, goals, and objectives of the meeting, you’ve created your meeting agenda, now, it’s time to determine who and who should attend the meeting. The chances are that on any given day, your schedule is chock-full of them. Sharing broadly reduces the chance you’ll discover conflicts late in the game, and might even lead to an opportunity to join forces with a team doing complementary work. There are very few things that are as annoying as someone scheduling a meeting and sending out an invite with no indication as to what will be discussed in the meeting — leaving the invitees clueless as to why they are at the meeting in the first place. It’s imperative because when people find themselves in meetings where they can’t make any reasonable contribution due to lack of skill or expertise, or that the topics to discuss are irrelevant to them, they’ll see the meeting as a waste of their precious time. Be intentional about where you are and aren’t focusing energy. However, taking your time to prepare your agenda beforehand can help you get your priorities right and keep discussions on the right track, so you don’t miss out on important points to be discussed. Win-win. 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