Every once in awhile in business, you will have to gather your staff around for a meeting. While meetings might be necessary, they are not the most exciting of tasks. Few members of staff – yourself included – will see a meeting on the agenda and look forward to the experience.
Why is that? Well, perhaps the biggest is the simple fact that many office meetings have a tendency to go on for longer than they really need to. We’ve all been in the office meeting that is spiraling out of control, never reaching a conclusion, and if anything causing more issues than solving existing problems.
Getting control of meetings is fundamental to how your business is going to be able to operate. That means they need to be more productive and achieve more within a small frame of time rather than losing control of them. How do you do that? Like so…
1 – Clear The Space
Nothing short of a professional janitorial service is going to be sufficient when it comes to making sure your meeting room is ready to host staff members.
Does that sound extreme?
It’s also completely accurate. You need the room to feel ready for business, not distracting staff by mess or marks on the table.
It should be clinical, free of distractions, free of any lingering trash – and unless you fancy doing that yourself before every meeting, that means you need to either bring in or extend the remit of the pros.
2 – Have Everything At Your Fingertips
Set yourself an agenda for what needs to be discussed or obtain one from a member of staff if they called the meeting.
Then, work through it and think about what time and equipment you’ll need to discuss the items on the list. Do you need specific folders, documents, access to particular technology to get onto the staff intranet – and so on and so forth.
Meetings can often drag on due to pauses while someone goes to find something, so eliminating this from the start puts you on a good footing.
3 – Enforce A “No Raised Voices” Rule
Arguments in meetings are somewhat inevitable, as personalities and methods clash in pursuit of attaining business goals. They are, however, completely unproductive.
It’s possible to have a frank discussion without it descending into an argument. The best way of doing this is completely banning raised voices – and that includes you.
If everyone is forced to control their tone, they are more likely to be able to control their words also.
4 – Stop Frequently
If you are in for a long meeting due to the breadth of subjects that you need to cover, then stopping frequently might sound like a waste of time.
It isn’t. In fact, it will make you more productive. If you break every hour – even just for five minutes – then no one is going to be distracted by needing to use the restroom, make a phone call, check something on their phone etc.
They can be highly focused on what happens when the meeting is on, safe in the knowledge they will soon have time to take care of those distractions thanks to frequent rest periods.
So what are you doing to have more productive office meetings? Share your thought below.