We’ve all been there, you’re sitting in a meeting that seems to go on forever. There are maybe one or two people making the majority of contribution to the conversation, and the meeting was scheduled to end twenty minutes ago. You maybe don’t even know why you’re there, and you pull out your smart phone several times to check the clock. You feel it was a big waste of time, and when it finally lets out you aren’t sure what, if anything, was actually accomplished.
You’ve been on the side of the meeting attendee at bad meetings, but are you aware of how you run your own meetings? Are you using best practices to make sure you don’t commit the very same meeting sins that you yourself have had to suffer through? Just to be sure, you can read through the tips below on running an effective and efficient meeting.
Go in with a purpose
Being prepared is key to a great meeting. Spend some time setting up a meeting agenda, and have a goal or two that you want to have accomplished by the time the meeting is over. It can be anything from having an important decision made, to setting up a game plan for a new project. Whatever it is – make it clear and attainable.
Invite the right people
There’s no reason you need to invite everyone in the office to every single meeting. People at a meeting who feel the topic or goals aren’t relevant to them will feel as though their time is being wasted. Review your list of meeting attendees. People who are impacted by the results of the meeting should attend. If the meeting’s goal is to solve a problem, invite those who may have insight that can help you solve the problem. Having the right people there will ultimately make the meeting more effective.
Stay on topic
This can be a tough one in a room full of people will various ideas, perspectives, and thoughts… but it’s important to keep the meeting going in the right direction or else you run the risk of it being the meeting that never ended. If an important topic comes up that wasn’t in the agenda, you can let everyone know that while it is important to discuss, it is out of the scope of the current meeting. You can then let them know that you will copy it down in your notes/minutes and when you ultimately follow up, you can include the plan to discuss this topic when the time is right. When it comes to efficient meetings, you should stick to your original agenda.
Taking notes and minutes is important during every meeting. This allows you to remember everything that was discussed, solutions that were reached, and topics that need to be discussed at a later time. For anyone that missed the meeting, the minutes can be sent to them so they can stay in the loop.
Make sure everyone is heard
While it’s important to stay on topic, it’s also important to have open discussion and let everyone have a voice. If you notice one or two people taking up the majority of conversation, you can let them know you appreciate all your input but would love to hear the opinions and ideas of everyone else in the room as well. Encouraging everyone to have a say in the conversation can bring about new ideas and solutions that you may otherwise have not been exposed to.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the idea that you should follow up after each meeting. A simple email is a great option. You can include the meeting minutes, any topics that came up during the meeting that need to be discussed at a later date, a recap of the solutions, and any other relevant things. You can also include the agenda for the next meeting, if applicable.
Run your meeting in a productive environment
If you’re a small business and don’t have a dedicated meeting space or office space, you want to make sure your meetings are held in a space that is conducive to productivity. While having your meeting in a local coffee shop might sound ideal at first glance, there will always be issues and distractions, not to mention a lack of privacy when holding meetings about sensitive or confidential topics. Luckily SuiteWorks has a variety of meeting rooms in Barrie to suit your needs. From larger conference rooms, to small and intimate meeting spaces, you have many options to run an effective meeting at SuiteWorks. We also have office space, co-working spaces, and virtual assistants to help grow your small business in an affordable and accessible way,
The golden rule of meetings, is that you should always run a meeting that you yourself would want to attend – in a productive environment, staying on topic, and having everyone give their valuable input.
If you would like to book a meeting room in Barrie, or want to learn more about SuiteWorks, pleasecontact us today!
SuiteWorks is pleased to offer businesses in Barrie and Simcoe County a range of office space, from co-working desks to virtual office package. Call us to find out more. 1.866.967.5711.