Meetings are an important part of any business, but they can often be unproductive. If you’ve ever attended a meeting that felt like it was going nowhere, you’re not alone. In fact, a study by the software company Atlassian found that 67% of employees believe that meetings are unproductive.
There are various reasons why meetings can be unproductive, but there are also a number of ways to make them more productive. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to have a productive meeting. We have some tips on what to do if you’re in a meeting that’s not going well.
Prepare for the meeting in advance
Before you host a meeting, always have everything you need to prepare for it. Create a clear agenda for the meeting with a goal for the meeting in mind. Having an agenda for the meeting will help keep the meeting focused and on track, and it will also help everyone who attends the meeting know what to expect.
If you’re hosting a virtual meeting, you may want to create meeting guidelines that outline what to do if the meeting goes offline. Meeting guidelines can include information on how participants can ask questions, how they can send feedback, and how they can share resources with each other. You can make the entire process of booking, managing, and informing people smoother with the help of DeskFlex.
Start and end on time
We’ve all been in a meeting that seemed to go on forever. While it’s tempting to let people ramble on and share their thoughts on every topic, it’s important to keep the meeting start and end on time. When you start the meeting, let everyone know that you plan to end the meeting at a certain time.
If you know that a certain topic is likely to go over the allotted time, break that topic into smaller pieces and address each piece during the meeting. It’s also important to end the meeting on time, even if there are topics that people want to discuss further. If you let people talk past the end of the meeting, it might be difficult to bring the meeting to a close again.
Keep the meeting focused
While every meeting should start and end on time, that doesn’t mean that each meeting attendee should speak for the same amount of time. Make sure that everyone who is present at the meeting has the opportunity to speak, but don’t let people go off on tangents.
If someone starts to go off on a tangent, you can politely ask them to address the topic at hand. You can also try to redirect the conversation by asking another meeting attendee to weigh in. If you notice that a topic is getting heated, try to change the subject or end the discussion.
Encourage participation from all attendees
While you may want to make sure that everyone who attends the meeting is given the opportunity to speak, you don’t have to turn the meeting into a free-for-all. If someone is speaking too much during the meeting, politely let them know that other people would like the opportunity to speak.
You can also try to redirect their attention to someone else who hasn’t had a chance to weigh in yet. If you want everyone to speak during the meeting, you can also keep track of who has spoken and make sure that everyone gets a chance to talk.
Take breaks as needed
Meetings can be tiring both for the people who host them and for the people who attend them. If you notice that people are getting tired or uninterested in what’s going on in the meeting, it may be a good idea to take a break. Taking breaks during meetings doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Taking breaks can actually increase productivity and improve collaboration.
If you’re hosting a meeting, you may want to let attendees know that you’ll be taking breaks during the meeting. If you’re attending a meeting, you may want to let the meeting host know that you appreciate breaks during the meeting.
Assign action items
At the end of the meeting, make sure that attendees know what tasks they need to complete and when those tasks are due. You may want to assign action items to yourself, as well. It’s also important to follow up after the meeting to make sure that everyone who was present at the meeting completed their tasks. You can do this by sending out a follow-up email or scheduling a follow-up meeting.
If you’re attending a meeting that isn’t going well, you can try to bring the meeting back to a productive state by speaking up. You can also try to redirect the meeting by bringing it back to its original topic. Finally, you can try to end the meeting as soon as possible. These tips may not work in every situation, but they can help you deal with unproductive meetings when they arise.
Meetings are a necessary part of work, but they can often be unproductive. There are a number of ways to make them more productive, including preparing for the meeting in advance, starting and ending on time, keeping the meeting focused, encouraging participation from all attendees, taking breaks as needed, and assigning action items and following up after the meeting.
If your meeting has been unproductive, follow these tips to get things back on track.