If you ask anyone who specializes in executive coaching in Vancouver, they will tell you that managing meetings properly is critical to running a successful business. Meetings are meant to increase productivity and efficiency within the company, and when everyone is on the same page and understand what needs to be done, even the most challenging tasks can be executed.
Whether you love or hate business meetings, you’ll never be able to eliminate them completely. So it’s important to make the meetings as useful as possible. Here are some proven meeting management tips that will help you in the future.
Have a clear goal or objective
If you plan a meeting without a clear objective in mind, and don’t have an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish, rest assured it is not going to happen. The most critical part to any successful meeting is to have a clear goal and agenda. If you start with a goal and communicate that goal throughout the meeting, you will end with success.
Hold the meeting outside the office
If you start to notice some tired faces, lack of energy or ideas at the beginning of the meeting, maybe it’s time to take the meeting outside. Out of office meetings are a great way to avoid this type of meeting fatigue.
Take your employees to a coffee shop nearby, to the park, or even a bar/restaurant nearby. A change of scenery is known to boost energy and moral in a meeting, and the good ideas will start to flow.
At the end of the meeting, ask your staff if they enjoyed the change of scenery for the meeting, and if they found it constructive.
Preparing for the meeting
The key to any successful meeting is the preparation. Before the meeting begins, provide your staff with the following:
- A list of what you’ll be covering in the meeting.
- A description of the objectives.
- A list of who’s attending and what they’ll be addressing in the meeting.
- Time and location of the meeting.
- Lastly, any background info your staff need to know about the meeting topic.
Reduce meeting size
Before you send out invites to the meeting, ask yourself who really needs to attend. For some people, a brief summary of the meeting will be enough.
If you can reduce the time of the meeting by reducing the number of attendees, you are saving valuable production time. Remember, the purpose of a meeting is to make important decisions, not to just share information. Some people may feel the meeting is a waste of their time if it has nothing to do with them or their responsibilities.
People showing up late to the meeting can waste up to 5-10 minutes of the meeting, which in turn extends the time of the meeting. Waiting on the people that are usually late is not fair to the others who made the effort to show up on time.
So what do you do in this situation? It’s simple… start without them. Starting the meeting whether they are there or not shows them that you will not be waiting for them in the future, and this will prompt them to show up on time.
Studies have shown that 30 minutes into the meeting, the attendees attention is not as sharp as it was at the beginning of the meeting. It’s not that they’re not interested anymore – it’s just that there is a lot of process. The longer you make your meetings, the more effort it will take on everyone’s part to keep the energy high.
Shorter meetings are critical to improving efficiency from your team. Once you feel you have reached your goal for the meeting, don’t be afraid to stop it abruptly.
Don’t keep any meeting longer than 1 hour. Your attendees will appreciate that you know their time is valuable, which will also boost moral in the office.
End with a Q&A
Even if you follow all of the above steps, there may still be questions from your attendees. If you want your meeting to be a success, make sure everyone understands the goal and their tasks before ending the meeting. A Q&A is a great to make sure this happens.
Meeting management is critical to running a successful business and if you are in need of more executive coaching in Vancouver to help with topics such as this, contact us today!