If you’re like most employees and business owners, you begin the day by reviewing your calendar and determining how many meetings you have scheduled for the day. Every day, there are numerous, many of which are marked as urgent. This can be a complete productivity killer, not to mention a mood killer.
When we identify a client who is overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of meetings and interruptions during our executive leadership coaching, we go through a series of questions concerning the meetings they attend. Questions such as:
- On an ordinary day, how many meetings do you have?
- Do you have to be present for all of them, or can any of them be delegated to a member of your team?
- Do all of the meetings you now lead or attend bring genuine value?
- Or have they simply become a boring routine?
- Which ones are the most valuable?
- Which meetings could be canceled, reduced in frequency, or made shorter?
- Which meetings should be added or expanded?
Here are 6 tips to make your meetings more productive:
- Always schedule your meetings in advance:
If you don’t have an agenda, don’t have the meeting. The possibilities of you straying off the tracks and wasting time on things that don’t provide value are pretty high. Instead, postpone the meeting until you have time to plan the agenda ahead of time. Schedule your meeting prior by using online tools like calendly.
- Remain focused:
It’s really easy to become distracted. It is more difficult to keep focused, with proper body language, but the effort is well worth it. Follow your agenda, and if you get off track, write it down as a future action item and come back to it later.
- Start strong:
Begin on time and with vigor. Get directly to the point with your agenda. Work on your presentation skills beforehand. Everyone’s time is valuable, and if you spend five or ten minutes of each meeting warming up, you could waste an hour or more a day on small talk.
- As you continue, clarify the action items:
Have a long meeting that you don’t want to miss? As you continue, mark critical action items such as:
- What does it do?
- When will it be?
- To what standard are you referring?
- How can the loop be closed?
- Allow everyone an opportunity to speak:
Be wary of one or two dominant personalities taking over your gathering. You are included in this! Allowing the quieter participants a minute to “jot down” their ideas, thoughts, or comments to be shared with you later is a simple approach to giving them a voice.
- After-meeting recap:
Send out a meeting summary email after the meeting to summarise the action items and discussion points that were discussed.
If necessary, enter the recap into your project management program.
Above all, maintain consistency in your behaviors through frequent leadership training. A calendar full of meaningless meetings is not something to strive towards. A calendar packed with value-added meetings that will help move your organization forward is essential.
BeLeader is one of the leadership training companies in Pune that offers comprehensive corporate leadership training that helps in providing inputs to make your meetings more valuable and productive. Connect with us to book a free 20 mins appointment.