25 May Making Meetings Work – Banishing the Boredom
“Bored” Room Meetings
Whether it’s in an airless board room or standing at a table in a hallway, some meetings seem pointless. There is always someone who substitutes making a decision, for a seemingly endless and uninspiring meeting. There is the person who feels a sense of power in calling or chairing a meeting and so loves nothing more than going from one meeting to another. Others use them as a setting for impromptu staff appraisals, or as a platform for airing every grievance they ever had at work. So why do we keep having them?
Well, clearly we do need to talk to each other at work, to see how things are going and to plan ahead, but we don’t have to do this with dull, all too frequent and aimless meetings. If we just put in a bit of effort, we could make our meetings shorter, more relevant and maybe even something we don’t dread. There are ways to do this. Remembering the PAL method of Purpose, Agenda and Limit always helps to focus the mind; so will setting some ground rules and guidelines.
You don’t Always Need to Meet
Before you even set an agenda for a meeting, think about whether you need to meet at all. Sometimes an e-mail or phone call will do. Do not forget that you can talk to people in work outside of the formal structure of a meeting. Having a conversation might do the trick. In fact, some people react better in a less formal setting and find it easier to relate their ideas in a more casual way. You won’t have meeting fatigue if you don’t overload your diary with meetings in the first place. Set aside meeting-free days. You won’t be less important if you don’t attend endless meetings. You might just be more productive.
Making Meetings Better
Meetings are about sharing ideas, collaborating and coming up with solutions, or at least they should be. Meetings cost companies a lot of money. They should feed into the success of a business and not be a drain on it. Meetings should aid business goals. Once you decide that your meetings are going to be a bit more engaging and productive, you can now figure out how you’re going to do this. There are a lot of ways to improve your meetings. Here are just some of them:
• Train your staff in running meetings. Don’t assume they know how to.
• Purpose: Decide if you need a meeting at all.
• Why, where and with whom do you want to meet?
• What do you want from the meeting? What is the outcome you want?
• Give people adequate notice of the meeting. Give them time to do their homework.
• Send reminders
• What improvements or ideas will this meeting advance? Focus on them.
• Make the Agenda relevant and to the point. Small items can be in “AOB”.
• Emergency meetings are only for emergencies.
• Meetings are an exchange of ideas. They should not be monologues from the chair.
• Have meetings where there is adequate air, water and coffee!
• Limit the time. Start on time. Finish early.
• Follow up on targets, promises or goals. Don’t have them on the next agenda as “in progress” if a bit of effort meant they could have been marked off as completed.
Meetings don’t have to be grim. If you plan properly you can make them shorter, more effective and relevant to the business goals. Only have them when you need to and when you do, make sure to communicate before and afterwards. Rather than something to dread, make your meeting a positive part of the day, that staff won’t try to avoid. If used right your meeting could be a useful tool in the success of your company.
If you or your staff are considering training in any aspect of your business, the experts at OMT Global will be happy to discuss your project with us.