Let’s face it — meetings can suck the productivity right out of a day. In
fact, in a survey reported in Industry Week, 2,000 managers
claimed that at least 30 percent of their time spent in meetings was a waste of
time. Before you call your next meeting, check out our tips on how to run an
Be prepared. Preparation is crucial for every meeting —
and this goes for both the person running the meeting and those attending. Have
an idea of what you’re going to cover before the meeting begins and bring any
reports and materials you might need.
Set an objective. Don’t meet just to meet. Have a clear
objective of why you’re gathering and what you expect to accomplish. Setting a
legitimate objective helps structure the time together. Do you want to
brainstorm? Make a decision? Solve a problem? Seek feedback? The key is to avoid
an unordered discussion that doesn’t accomplish anything.
Don’t waste time. Before you even schedule a meeting,
make sure there’s a legitimate need for one. If what you are trying to do can be
accomplished by talking to one person, don’t take up the time of others. Even if
your meeting only takes 15 minutes, if five employees attend, then you’ve spent
an hour’s worth of your business’ productivity. Set time limits and avoid going
Be respectful. The purpose of most meetings is to
gather and communicate with a team. Meetings are generally not supposed to be
dictatorial. This means everyone’s opinion is valuable. If attendees want to
speak, they should be heard. There also is a fine line between legitimate
feedback and senseless commentary. Encourage employees to avoid rambling,
unnecessary criticism and (of course) silence.
Develop action items. Great ideas are worthless if
there’s no follow-up. Don’t end a meeting before everyone has a clear assignment
of what their next steps should be.