You’re not alone if you feel that meetings take up a massive chunk of your time. According to meeting scientist Joseph Allen, Ph.D., managers spend 75% of their pre-pandemic workday planning, arranging, and attending meetings. Still, more than half of meetings are regarded as bad.
Meetings may be a great tool when they’re meaningful, well-planned, and well-run, yet they’re frequently dismissed as ineffective or unneeded. So, why do we continue to have terrible meetings? And how can we improve them?
Before incorporating corporate video conferencing software, here are some tips you may follow for an effective meeting.
Preparation for the Conference
‘Does this meeting really need to happen?’ you should follow the video conferencing guide. Run through this short checklist to see whether you really need to meet in the first place:
- Is there a clear purpose or objective to my meeting?
- Is it necessary for me to collaborate and have open discussions to achieve my goals?
- Is it essential for me to disclose sensitive or complicated information?
If you responded yes, a meeting is probably the ideal for your goal; if not, think about whether email, instant messaging, or a short phone conversation will suffice.
#1. Reduce the number of people that will be attending.
Is everyone on your guest list actively involved in accomplishing the meeting’s goal? If the goal is cooperation, limit the number of participants on the call to five to seven; otherwise, you’ll have many people on the call but just a few participating.
#2. Make a schedule & send it.
Agendas help keep discussions on topic and make meetings more effective. Prepare your agenda ahead of time and distribute it to all participants to give them time to think about it and get familiar with the subject.
#3. Make it the appropriate length.
Keep meetings to 45 minutes or less and avoid arranging them back-to-back to allow individuals to recuperate. If the meeting will go longer than an hour (for example, a planning session), set for short intervals so that everyone may rest and recharge.
#4. Get into the proper frame of mind.
Stop what you’re doing when your meeting reminder appears and spend a few minutes preparing your thoughts for the meeting ahead. Drink some water, relax, listen to some music, or go for a stroll — whatever gives you energy and enables you to engage without being distracted.
During The Meeting
#5. Begin with a short conversation.
A more successful meeting is typically the consequence of taking the time to establish a personal connection. Before you get down to business, start by talking about the weekend or inquiring how folks are doing.
#6. Participate in the facilitation process.
Facilitate an active discussion where everyone gets a chance to speak to give them a cause to turn on their camera. Encourage engagement by addressing individuals by their first names.
#7. Stick to the schedule.
When the discussion begins, use procedural communication to bring it back to the task at hand. To keep the meeting on the topic, suggest putting off irrelevant subjects and following up later.
#8. Inclusion is a priority.
Unconscious prejudice is common for women and people of color in the workplace, and virtual meetings may amplify these inequalities. Be aware of who is speaking and who is being spoken over and make an effort to engage all voices equally.
Follow-Up After the Meeting
#9. Highlights and action lists should be sent.
Use meeting recordings and note-taking applications to share key points with all stakeholders. Everyone can remain informed without having to spend the whole day in meetings.
#10. Provide more chances for people to participate.
Request further comments or contributions when you distribute the notes or recordings. This provides a more welcoming atmosphere for individuals who don’t feel comfortable speaking out at meetings or who cannot attend.
Finally, cancel any meetings that aren’t required.
After each occurrence, evaluate meetings, particularly standing meetings, to ensure that they are still fulfilling their original purpose. If not, shorten them, make them less frequent, or eliminate them entirely.