Keep on top of your work from home life with these tips and ideas from our team to yours. Don’t skip this! It’ll make you think twice about your attendee list! Getting rid of technological distractions like laptops and phones (we’ll get to that in a moment). Your next job is to assign the action steps that need to be taken after the meeting. 47% of workers complain that meetings are where productivity goes to die. It can mean interrupting someone for speaking longer than necessary, calling out participants for drifting off the topic or summarizing the next action steps to be taken. You weren’t born to sit in meetings. You know the meeting’s purpose because you’ve thought it through. Taking notes during meetings is not just a good habit, but a necessary one. You have to regularly track these action items to make sure that some progress is being made. You also need to keep the number of attendees to the barest minimum. Running effective and productive meetings can feel very daunting. There are very few things that are as annoying as someone scheduling a meeting and sending out an invite with no indication as to what will be discussed in the meeting — leaving the invitees clueless as to why they are at the meeting in the first place. Meetings are very important to the growth and well-being of any business. It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing meetings as the one and only way to collaborate, but that knee-jerk tendency is what gets us into trouble and gives meetings a bad name. Because last-minute business travel and WFH days happen. Effective meetings are interesting, high-energy events where team members work together to make decisions or solve problems. At the very least, a good meeting will center on a productive discussion that will be more effective in real time than asynchronously via emails or comment threads. Those with extroverted tendencies might seem to out-talk everyone because they have a natural inclination of (over-)expressing themselves, while those that are introverted rarely speak up unless called upon to do so. But time is not the only thing that is wasted. (There’s a 71% chance it’s Facebook.). Using all the tips I have outlined here — you can run effective meetings that will have everyone feeling inspired rather than frustrated. Sharing via email and Google Docs works fine, too. Also, whoever is sitting beside the scribe will most definitely get distracted by the screen or the sound of typing. Too often, people call … Optimal lighting of the meeting room or venue. To make this even more efficient, designate time-blocks that allocates a certain number of minutes to each of these topics to ensure that no important topic is left out. For 99% of meetings, you can give yourself a break and skip worrying about…. Here are some extra tips that can help you run productive meetings. It involves carefully and thoughtfully selecting the right group of people, for the right purpose to deliver tangible results that will add value to the organization. Include your agenda in the invitation so people can determine whether they really need to be there and, if not, decline the meeting or suggest someone else. Sometimes it seems as if we're always meeting. Unfortunately, too many of the meetings we attend … And this will be very helpful for invitees who were unavoidably absent but still need to inform them about the meeting discussions. The point is to have an agenda that speaks to the result you want – e.g., “Brainstorm 10 or more ways we could reduce customer churn 10% by the end of the year.” If you can’t describe what you’ll be doing in actionable, results-oriented terms, that’s a sign holding the meeting would be a waste of time. (Just how long is “too long” and how deep is “too deep” is up to you as meeting facilitator to decide.). … Win-win. Most of us don’t have formal training in meeting management skills, but anyone can learn to do it well. Effective meetings add real value to companies. Examples include team or project retrospectives, brainstorming, and one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports. Here are a few note-taking apps that you can use. Because governmental bodies and other groups and organizations must conduct much of their business through meetings… However, taking your time to prepare your agenda beforehand can help you get your priorities right and keep discussions on the right track, so you don’t miss out on important points to be discussed. Err on the side of sharing with more people than is strictly necessary. “But I can concentrate on the meeting while checking my social media or by email,” some might argue. Be mindful not to meander off-topic for too long or dive too deep into technical discussions. It can be tempting to scribble down some points on any sheet of paper and call it your agenda to get it over with. Unfortunately, there’s no formula to guarantee that you’re balancing the cost of the meeting to the organization with the potential for creativity, and your best judgment is all you can apply. This means that in it, you achieve a desired outcome. To ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak at the meeting, invent some type of a “. (More on DACI in the Atlassian Team Playbook, including a silly video starring yours truly.). Culture, tech, teams, and tips, delivered twice a month, Meetings should never be held for the sole purpose of sharing information, Department and company all-hands meetings, we solve problems best later in the day when our minds are a bit tired, 6 meeting hacks (and 1 weird tip) that build trust, build trust by asking questions that prompt a deeper discussion, 47% of workers complain that meetings are where productivity goes to die, More on DACI in the Atlassian Team Playbook, Here’s a handy “effective meetings” cheat-sheet you can download, 5 employee engagement ideas that build authentic connections, How to boost your team’s success with shared mental models, 4 communication styles and how to navigate them in the workplace, How to run a remote retrospective and have fun doing it, Finding a meeting location outside the office, Preparing a snazzy slide deck (death to all “consume information” meetings!). Job done, right? positive about the use of their time and with a sense that progress has been made Q: What is the first step to conducting an effective virtual meeting? While those things are important, they’re just table stakes. Meetings in your organization are supposed to be a cooperative and not contentious. Key elements of an effective meeting include starting and ending on time, addressing all agenda items in full and summarizing the results of the meeting … If you’re trying to solve a technology problem — then inviting the marketing team to the meeting is entirely unnecessary; you only need to invite the tech guys. It shows that you respect other people’s time, and it also saves the company from lost productivity. Was it easy for you to contribute to the discussion? Sarah Goff-Dupont There’s the tendency of the scribe getting distracted by pop-ups and notifications on the device. Running effective meetings isn’t simply a matter of doing the obvious things like sharing the agenda and starting on time. Effective meetings are collaborative. Working from home isn't easy, and the transition from the office to home isn't totally natural, but with enough awareness and some good advice you can increase your productivity, improve your communication, and remain connected with your team. Plus, we’re less likely to be distracted by a looming list of tasks for the day. An effective meeting is like Burning Man: there are no spectators – only participants! A meeting is most likely going to be a colossal waste of time if you can’t describe its purpose in actionable and result-oriented terms. The meeting leader sets a positive, productive tone for interaction among the meeting participants. He is also the host of The Career Insider Podcast and the co-host of The C.A.R.E. Effective meeting facilitation starts with a review of the goals, or anticipated outcomes … As much as possible, avoid scheduling your meeting during someone else’s lunch hour, or at a time when they’d otherwise be reading their kids a bedtime story. Effective meeting strategies pdf recommend that the chairperson goes over what has been discussed, what the conclusions are, and what is expected of the participants. As much as possible, avoid too much technicality in the discussions as too much technicality tends to deplete most people’s willpower and attention. MEETINGS, in essence, are meant to boost productivity and efficiency. You don’t have to put a specific brainstorming exercise on the agenda, but you do have to make the group feel comfortable expressing non-conforming opinions or offering up off-the-wall ideas. Questions like “Why do we think that’s true?” or “Can you expand on that?” or “How could we measure that?” demonstrate humility and curiosity on your part, which sets the tone for the rest of the group. It’s about involving the right people, having a purpose or goal for this time, making decisions (and action items to … A meeting involves talking WITH teammates, not AT them. We think that they both mean the same thing – they don’t, and you must know the difference. The same electronic gadgets we carry around these days that help make our lives easier and also have the ability to make us more productive at work — are also the biggest and most dangerous distractions that we have today. Even for co-located participants, meeting time can make a difference. Consider using the DACI method to clarify each person’s role in the decision: driver, approver, contributor, or informed. In our age of globally distributed companies, a bit of thought around timing is key to effective meeting management. Project planning, mapping out customer journeys, setting goals, solving a problem, choosing X vs. Y… all these are situations where holding a meeting is probably the most effective way to get it done. (And what is a group of people in a meeting, if not a temporary team?) A “parking lot” on the whiteboard is an easy way to capture ideas, topics, and questions that are out of scope for the moment and keep the meeting moving along. You have to be mindful of drifting off-topic for too long or going too deep into technicalities. Some people are born with more extroverted traits in them, while others are more shy and introverted. It can include things like brainstorming new product ideas, analyzing results for the past quarter, and action steps to take moving forward. Even if everyone in the group has a desk in your office, it’s always a good idea to set up your meeting to be accessible and valuable for people joining remotely. Create and share your meeting agenda with them. Meetings are expensive, so be thoughtful about who you invite. (Depending on your company culture, that might not be strictly necessary, but it’s always polite.). Using this knowledge — you can engineer your meetings so that in the first 30 seconds of the meeting, you can share the most interesting points of the meeting to arouse the interest of the attendees. One minute you’re checking your email for any important email that you might have received, the next minute, you’re either playing Candy Crush or scrolling through your infinite Facebook NewsFeed. Click to tweet. Plus, nobody likes being the giant head on the TV screen at the front of the room. And it most likely is. Effective teamwork means agreeing to trust each other enough to rally behind the decision once it’s been made. However, it doesn’t mean that you invite everyone to every meeting in the company (see number 4). A good team meeting helps teams align on … It involves creating a safe space where others can freely express their thoughts, ideas and opinions without the fear of judgment or being looked down upon — a place where a person’s view is more important than their title. An Effective Meeting is one where it’s objectives where accomplished within the stated timeframe. But you also want the group to bring diverse perspectives and knowledge, especially if the purpose of the meeting is decision-making or brainstorming. Try this meeting cost calculator from Harvard Business Review next time you’re charged with running a meeting. Inclusivity is more of a mindset than anything else. Keep an ongoing, open dialogue amongst the people you meet with most frequently, and emphasize progress over perfection. The real key to running a great meeting is organizing and running them with a human touch – not like some corporate management automaton. Every business, whether it has 2 employees or 2,000, has meetings as a regular part of getting things done. Were the meeting’s purpose and agenda clear? When you schedule a meeting at a certain time — you have to begin the meeting with those who are present and let anyone that’s late stand till the end of the meeting. Use this framework (stands for “driver, approver, contributor, informed”) to make effective and efficient group decisions. A great many more are resolved by a letter, a memo, a phone call, or a simple conversation between two people. An effective meeting agenda clearly states meeting goals and discussion topics. Chances are, your meeting will generate some kind of artifact: an action plan, a collection of ideas, a user journey, a list of next steps, etc. How to run effective team meetings … And you’ve got 30 seconds before they start asking the question, ‘Am I going to pay attention to you or not?’ The instant you open your mouth, you are on the verge of having your audience check out.”. Let’s face it: most of us have too many meetings on our calendars. Some note-taking apps also allow you to collaborate in real-time. For a meeting to meet this outcome, or objective, you have to be clear about what it is. A: Know if your virtual meeting was effective by asking for feedback in your meeting follow-up email. You’ve determined if a meeting is necessary, you’ve clearly defined the purpose, goals, and objectives of the meeting, you’ve created your meeting agenda, now, it’s time to determine who and who should attend the meeting. They can also make you feel like your schedule is overflowing with meetings. It involves carefully and thoughtfully selecting the right group of people, for the right purpose to deliver tangible results that will add value to the organization. Effective Meeting Management. Wrong. Effective meetings are gatherings in which the agenda is clearly defined, the meeting is carefully structured and the participants arrive organized and prepared for the event. An Extra Tip — You can actually make the scribe take note the old-fashioned way — with a paper and a pen, or on a whiteboard, rather than with a laptop. At its core, the purpose of a team meeting is to share information efficiently and to provide scope for discussion around what is being shared. Another way of keeping attendees engaged is by preparing them for active listening. Atlassian meetings typically capture all that stuff as a page in Confluence (the wiki-flavored intranet tool we make) and share the page with everyone on the invite list and other relevant people. Collaboration brings the best in people and allows them to contribute and share. I’d even argue that starting and ending on time isn’t absolutely critical for success. During the meeting, be inclusive, and assign the next action steps to be taken after the meeting. By contrast, we solve problems best later in the day when our minds are a bit tired. Encourage the lone representative from Finance to share how the decision would affect her team. You shouldn’t just call a meeting or blast out email invites to everybody that comes to your mind. Your meeting agenda might have just one item. Be intentional about where you are and aren’t focusing energy. Instead of having a scribe type up meeting minutes as you go, have the facilitator jot notes down on the whiteboard, snap a photo of it, then share it out afterward. It helps get everyone on the same page on … First of all, summarize the meeting and the decisions made. It’s especially true for recurring meetings, as this will help you figure out how frequently these meetings need to be held. If you’re making an announcement that affects a few of your staff — then inviting the whole company to the meeting is entirely unnecessary; you only need to invite those that will be affected by such an announcement. At the end of the meeting, the scribe can then take photos of the notes and share it with everyone, including those that were unavoidably absent. Here’s a handy “effective meetings” cheat-sheet you can download and use to help keep you focused on the stuff that matters. Okay, statistics nerds, here are a few gems for you. “Oh, but I can focus on the topic at hand and check my email at the same time,” some might say. When that can’t be avoided, at least check in with the people who’ll be inconvenienced to get their buy-in in advance. Another way you can tackle such a situation is to hand over the responsibility of taking notes to anybody that tries to dominate the meeting. And it’s okay if the whole team is not in full agreement with the decision. Meetings are an essential part of the life of every organization and your ability to run effective meetings with your management skills is a critical part of your success in meeting … The key is making sure … Few things are more irksome than the person who sends a meeting invite with no indication whatsoever of what will happen in the meeting, and therefore invitees have no clue as to why they’re being invited. It will keep the teammates accountable and make expectations clear. Unless you’re acting as the designated scribe, laptops should be closed and phones should be off the table. But if meetings consume so much of your time, you should be extracting huge benefits from them, shouldn’t you? It’s really hard to keep track of exactly what everyone around you is up to, or how the outcome of your meeting will intersect with their work. Before scheduling any meeting, the very first thing you need to consider is if the meeting is necessary. And do so publicly so that others will know that you care about their opinions too. Effective meetings are important to your business to ensure that employees are aligned with your expectations and working efficiently. But there are ways to run effective, efficient meetings that leave your employees feeling energized and excited about their work. Don’t be that person. You can also take steps to make your meeting as effective as possible in the planning process. Someone is assigned to keep track of minutes and the agenda. Assign these action steps with a deadline to specific individuals or teams when possible. It puts everyone on a level playing field and encourages more balanced participation. Let the group know that if someone has work that is so pressing they’d be tempted to multi-task, they have permission to go do that work and catch up on what happened in the meeting later. Before you schedule the meeting, ask yourself this: “what are we looking to achieve with this meeting?”. Did this meeting result in something of value to the business? At the same time, businesses cannot devote endless resources. Sharing broadly reduces the chance you’ll discover conflicts late in the game, and might even lead to an opportunity to join forces with a team doing complementary work. Most meetings have vague goals, and many usually lack an agenda. Here are some tips: 1, Make your objective clear. The Journal of Organizational Behavior found in a recent study that time-wasting is usually unacceptable in all other aspects of business life, but “in the case of meetings, wasted time seems to be an accepted norm.”. In addition to creating an agenda for your meetings is designating facilitators. Unfortunately, the reverse seems to be the case. They’ll produce better work, and you’ll have more engaged participants. Same goes for knowing whether to hold a meeting in the first place, and what to do afterward to make sure it wasn’t a waste of time. Careful planning and preparation are essential to maximizing meeting effectiveness. Crossed wires and missed connections - good communication among teams is tablestakes for effective teamwork. You might not reach full agreement, but that’s okay. Not only that, but the result is then shared with others whose work may be affected. You should also make sure that the invitees of the meeting come with diverse perspectives, especially if it’s a strategic planning meeting or a brainstorming session. It’s because it serves as a written record of your discussions, decisions, and the next action steps to follow. You crafted an agenda designed to achieve the goal. These meetings can be very annoying and disruptive to your daily routine. The Importance of Effective Meetings. Meetings help people … Ask the new hire how things look from their still-fresh point of view. It’s because efficiency doesn’t care that much if the right people attended the meeting for the right reasons; or if the meeting added any real and tangible value to the business. Sharing the meeting agenda in advance helps you get straight down to business, as it will give the attendees the time to familiarize themselves with the discussion points. use of verbal and written communication contribute to the objectives being achieved March 13, 2019 John Keyser Efficiency, Leadership, Success Factors 0. The only introvert… the only person from Finance… the person who just started last week. A: The first step to conducting an effective virtual meeting … But it’s very easy to drift off-topic and bring up irrelevant topics. If you happen to notice one person unnecessarily dominating the discussions of the meeting and talking more than his or her fair share, call that person out. When meetings become demonstrably more effective, they spread a virus of energy and optimism across … It’s imperative because when people find themselves in meetings where they can’t make any reasonable contribution due to lack of skill or expertise, or that the topics to discuss are irrelevant to them, they’ll see the meeting as a waste of their precious time. It’s prep time: Create and share your meeting agenda 1. Did we have the right people in the room? Clearly define the purpose and objective of the meeting. Use your best judgment. According to John Medina, a molecular biologist and author of Brain Rules: “You’ve got 10 minutes with an audience before you will absolutely bore them. People want to do productive things that they feel are truly important – but meetings that lack structures can feel like a colossal waste of time. If you’ve done a good job gathering a group with diverse knowledge and perspectives, everyone will be “the odd one out” in one way or another. Rather than calling a meeting every time there is a problem or dispute in the company, find other ways to resolve those problems. Principal Writer. We’re all aware of how addictive these tech gadgets and their applications can be. The chances are that on any given day, your schedule is chock-full of them. Furthermore, workers consider roughly half of their meetings to be a waste of time, and 73% confess to sneaking in some real work during meetings. The job of facilitators is to keep people on track with the agenda of the meeting. An effective meeting is like Burning Man: there are no spectators – only participants! Podcast, how addictive these tech gadgets and their applications, 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Onboarding Remote Employees, The Top 5 Types of Employee Monitoring In 2020, How to Optimize ChatBots for Customer Service Betterment, Top 5 Desktime Alternatives (Features, Pricing, Ratings), Top 7 TMetric Alternatives (Features, Pricing, Ratings), How to Host an Efficient Remote Meeting in 2020 (Tips, Tools), Remote Work & Anxiety: How to Reduce Mental Distress Around Confidentiality, Monitoring Employee Attendance (2020 Guide), 13-Step Guide to Running an Effective Meeting. Reinforce your desired culture; meetings are carriers of organizational culture. Some people walk out of meetings with more questions than answer or even wonder why they attended the meeting in the first place. Some of the ways you can encourage active listening include, You’re probably already familiar with this Mark Twain quote —“A dull pen is better than the sharpest mind.”. They begin and end on time. We have our regular monthly organization meetings, special task force meetings to work on, urgent actions, and committee meetings … An efficient meeting starts on time, has few people in attendance, sticks to the schedule of the meeting in order to manage time properly, accomplishes its outlined objectives, and ends on time. If the meeting centers on a decision, don’t let your team members off the hook and settle for a “maybe.” Push for that decision or recommendation so people can start pursuing action items as soon as they walk out of the room. Having clear, concise, and well-defined purpose, goals, and objectives ensure that discussions in the meeting center on essential factors that will lead to the overall growth and well-being of the organization. You might be surprised by what really matters (and what doesn’t). Active listening involves focusing all your attention on the speaker, pay attention to their words, gestures, tone of voice, and even facial expressions, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak. An effective meeting, on the other hand, combines efficiency and thoughtfulness. Now stay the course! What are effective meetings? But here’s how to make the best of it. Things like presentations and status updates often masquerade themselves as essential, but they aren’t that important – these activities can be handled asynchronously via emails, chat, company intranets, etc. They can also collect any information that will be needed or prepare questions on things that don’t seem clear to them before the meeting. If you have to make a decision — you need to press the team harder to make a decision or recommendation so that action steps can be set and taken at the end of the meeting, rather than let them off the hook with a “maybe,” or a vague decision. You can also build trust by asking questions that prompt a deeper discussion, even when you think you know the answer. Understanding how to run effective meetings is one of the most crucial skills employees at all levels need to learn to thrive at work – but it isn’t merely a matter of doing the obvious things like sharing an agenda and starting meetings on time. The fact that you’re still reading means you’re committed to running a great meeting. Unless you’re the scribe (or note-taker) — your electronic gadgets should be silenced and put out of sight to reduce distraction and enable both you and those around you to concentrate. An effective meeting, on the other hand, combines efficiency and thoughtfulness. In the best-case scenario, a meeting’s purpose is to make a decision or create something collaboratively. Meetings are vitally important – if done well. Chances are, the meeting will be more successful this way. You can begin by writing the topics you want to center your discussion on in the meeting. How long “too long” is, and how deep “too deep” is, is up to the facilitator to decide). An effective meeting serves a useful purpose. Please allow me to call bullshit on that.