Enhancing the productivity of business meetings is integral to the success of a company. Businesses usually hold meetings mainly to inform the attendees on a variety of business matters including strategy, as well as changes occurring in the organization. The assumption is that after meetings, the company will experience better operations, everyone will be on-board with the company direction, and the company will be able to achieve its short and long-term goals.
Many times, business meetings are not as effective or as productive as would be desired. If you are planning a business meeting soon, and are looking for ways to improve the productivity of the meeting, then you should follow these tips:
- Have fewer meetings
It might seem a bit counterintuitive, but the best way to improve the productivity of your meeting is to have as few meetings as possible. You should only use meetings when it is absolutely necessary such as when discourse on strategy changes is required, or when company goals have shifted and everyone’s opinion is required on the matter.
However, if you simply want to pass information or review the status of a company project, then you can use other forms of communication including memos and emails.
If you do not need the input of others in order to make a decision, then a meeting is unnecessary.
In addition, make an effort to minimize the number of emergency meetings especiallythose held outside normal business hours. Even those held during the business hours should be few and far between.
- Enhance the perception of meetings
The management and the employees need to take the company meetings seriously in order to increase the effectiveness of the meetings. Participants should be encouraged to always arrive early for the meetings, as well as to come prepared for each meeting. These principles should be inculcated into the company’s culture for more effective meetings.
The door should always be closed once the meeting begins. Distractions, whether inside or outside of the meeting area, should be strongly discouraged.
- Make the meetings action oriented
The meetings need to be action oriented, and the best way to achieve this is by informing participants about the agenda of the meeting beforehand, as well as the objectives of the meeting. Make it clear that everyone participating in the meeting is required to make meaningful contributions to the discussion that will be held during the meeting.
This way, the participants will have ample time to prepare adequately for the meeting. They can plan how to contribute to the discussion. They will also have adequately familiarised themselves with the topic, which will make them effective listeners as well as contributors during the meeting.
- Ensure that everyone has a chance to speak
In most meetings, you will find that there are certain individuals who are over-vocal. These individuals tend to dominate meetings, and the others might shy away from contributing to the discussion as they feel intimidated by the dominant party.
To avoid such a situation, you need to ensure that everyone is given a chance to speak during the meeting. In addition, everyone should be given a time limit to ensure that everyone present has adequate time to air their opinions on the issue that is being discussed.
Once everyone has expressed their opinion, it is then up to the meeting organizers to determine which ideas should be implemented, and which ones require further discussion.
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