With leaders spending nearly 23 hours every week in meetings, frustration levels are high if those meetings aren’t efficient or productive. If you facilitate meetings, here are a few tips to keep your meetings moving in the right direction.
Before the meeting…
- Confirm a meeting is needed – Is a meeting the best way to accomplish the task? Is your weekly standing meeting still achieving its objective? Don’t assume.
- Communicate the purpose, and each person’s role prior, to the meeting – This will help attendees know how to engage in the discussion and will also help you think through who needs (and doesn’t need) to be there.
During the meeting…
- Start with an agenda – You’ve likely heard this before, and it’s worth re-emphasizing. Whether or not you have an agenda can determine whether your meeting efficiently drives towards an outcome, versus going off track.
- Keep discussion on track – Use phrases such as, “To ensure we have time to cover what’s most beneficial for the team,” or “Let’s dive into that more offline when we can dedicate the time that topic deserves.”
- End with a clear call to action – Recap the key take-aways from the discussion and who is responsible for specific follow-up after the meeting. This will ensure your meetings aren’t all talk and no action.
These tips will help your next meeting be purpose-driven, streamlined, and actionable. The added benefit? You and your fellow leaders will get some of those 23 hours back as meetings become more efficient.