Going into a meeting can sometimes feel like a waste of time. Business meetings can run over, go off topic and leave employees feeling unsatisfied and like they are not being listened to. Here is how to get the most out of your business meetings:
Come up with a plan
Before the meeting begins come up with a plan. Have a timeline for the meeting itself and consult with other key employees beforehand. Make sure that a plan is displayed prominently for everyone to see and to help your meeting stay on track.
Make a list of goals
During the meeting set a list of goals. Ensure that these are agreed with other parties and that everyone is happy. By setting a list of goals throughout the meeting everybody feels included and like their input is valuable. This helps to keep employee morale high and will ultimately help get the goals met.
Avoid the jargon
Cut down on using buzz words. Mostly these are just confusing for employees. People have a tendency to switch off when they hear buzzwords. Avoid looking like you are trying to hard and stay concise and accurate with the terminology that you use. Often buzzwords are vague and they just leave the door open for misinterpretation.
Stay on track
During the meeting ensure that you stay on track. Keep to the topic at hand. If employees have questions, or go off on a tangent, advise them that there will be time at the end of the meeting for such discussions. Staying on track can avoid topics being forgotten or missed due to a lack of time.
Engage with others
Involve others during your meeting. If you have an employee who has a particular skillset, or area of expertise, then involve them. Engaging with your employees makes them feel respected and can help boost morale. Keeping your employees happy and motivated will lead to increased productivity.
Have a designated time for questions
Set aside a time at the end of your business meetings for questions or to talk about different topics. You could even lay on food & drink for the end of your business meeting. This will allow your employees to engage with one another, brainstorm ideas and come up with ideas for future projects.
Even if a meeting is dragging on unnecessarily long, or is on a topic that nobody enjoys, try to remain positive. Your positive attitude will rub off on other people and will make for a more enjoyable meeting. If you have to hold a business meeting you can at least keep it a happy and uplifting environment.
Take regular breaks
If your business meeting is going to take several hours, or a whole day, then schedule regular breaks. Consider drawing up an itinerary so staff will know when the next break is. This will help keep people focused on the task at hand and give them a designated time for telephone calls or toilet trips.
Keep yourself and your other employees hydrated. Having drinks on hand throughout the meeting gives people a chance to keep themselves hydrated and feeling alert. Water and coffee are great accompaniments to a meeting – particularly if you are trying to get people focused for the day ahead.
The key to any successful meeting is keeping your employees focused, motivated and on track.