How to Have More Effective Team Meetings

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Meetings are a staple in the business world. However, not all meetings are particularly productive. Some happen purely out of habit, even if there isn’t something specific to discuss. Others are scheduled because there is a belief that something critical will get accomplished, regardless of whether there is a plan in place to drive success. As a result, many meetings aren’t a good use of time.

By making a few changes to your approach, it’s possible to improve meeting outcomes dramatically. If you want to have more effective team meetings, here are some tips that can help.

Ditch Automatically Recurring Meetings

Many team meetings happen on a set schedule. Whether it’s a daily standup or a weekly sit down, they occur simply because a particular day or time arrives, regardless of whether there’s anything that needs discussing.

Instead of setting up automatic recurring meetings, only schedule a gathering when one is actually necessary. That way, you aren’t spending time getting together when there isn’t anything to share.

Create a Formal Agenda

A meeting agenda is essentially a roadmap. It outlines what’s going to be discussed, creating a functional target for the conversation.

By having a formal agenda, you’re giving all participants a chance to prepare for the conversation. They will know what’s being covered and can gather necessary data in advance. If you’re presenting a problem, you are also giving attendees a chance to brainstorm potential solutions in advance, allowing them to bring worthwhile information to the table when the gathering begins.

Plus, it gives you the ability to keep everyone focused. If someone heads off on a tangent, deviating from the agenda, you can use the agenda as justification for tabling the discussion and refocusing on the topic at hand.

Don’t Default to an Hour

Meetings are often scheduled in one-hour blocks by default, usually because it’s the standard increment in calendaring software. However, many conversations don’t need a full hour.

Instead of defaulting to an hour, schedule your meetings for 30 minutes. This will help people stay focused by creating a sense of urgency. Plus, it ensures that no one feels they have to linger even when there’s nothing more to say on the topic.

Limit Attendance

Often, meeting attendee lists get incredibly lengthy. However, by adding more people, you typically decrease efficiency. With so many opinions, it can actually be harder to make crucial decisions. Additionally, the odds of tangents may be higher, as well as the need to spend more time explaining points to attendees who don’t have all of the necessary background knowledge.

When you choose attendees, limit the list to only people who genuinely need to be involved. Then, distribute meeting notes to those who need to be informed of the results.

Ultimately, each of the tips above can ensure your team meetings are more effective. If you’d like to learn more about improving productivity in the workplace, the staff at VB can help. Contact us today.