Pen frustratingly tapping paper; foot twitching with urgency; eyes glancing at the clock every few seconds.
Sound familiar? These are the common signs that a meeting has taken a less-than-fruitful atmosphere and it is time to wrap it up.
Avoid being the cause of these ultimate time-wasters by adhering to the strict Before-During-and-After guidelines for hosting effective meetings in the workplace.
Establish the groundwork by keeping your agenda simple. Write down the details - What is the purpose of this meeting? Who will attend? What is the time allotted for the meeting? This will keep you on track and less likely to stray.
Pass out needed materials before the actual meeting is held, this helps avoid distractions as attendees try to catch up on reading or notes.
Determine whether an in-person, time-consuming meeting is really the only means to the end. Could a conference call, email thread or memo accomplish the same goals? Resort to meetings only when necessary and show your employees and colleagues that you respect their time.
Request confirmation from all parties required to achieve the meeting’s goals. Holding the meeting without any one of the key players is often a waste of time.
As the leader, we must set the tone for the meeting. Positivity, activity and goal-driven motivation is necessary to motivate and excite team members. Lay out the objectives, determine the course and pace the meeting.
Reference the materials you requested others read prior to the meeting, engage with them and make sure you know their input is relevant.
Make sure everyone involved gets the chance to share. Don’t allow bulldozer employees to dominate the floor by encouraging a group sharing model, while you act as a facilitator.
During the meeting, determine the follow-up so everyone is clear on what the next steps should be.
Follow-up after the meeting is important because it motivates and calls to action those involved. Do not let more than 24 hours pass without publishing the meeting minutes and directing everyone to their next task.
Establish accountability so that follow-up meetings can continue to be productive, making sure each team member realises their responsibilities and is motivated to achieve them.