Ready to make your meetings more productive and focused?
Who isn’t?!? For most of us, meetings are a major time-suck. And a big source of frustration.
But until somebody designs a way to run a business without connecting to and sharing ideas with others, meetings will continue to be a necessary evil. So if yours are disorganized or seem to drag on forever, use these quick tips from Wood Personnel to get more done in the conference room:
1. Come prepared. Do your homework so you set a good example. Coming prepared shows your respect for others’ time – and legitimizes your desire for others to respect your time.
2. Have a clear plan. When the meeting starts, have the leader outline the goals/agenda for the meeting and set a simple timeline.
3. Require everyone’s attention. Ban technology (or, if the meeting is a long one, include scheduled technology breaks) so attendees’ attention is focused while you’re together.
4. Plan breaks. If you expect a meeting to last more than an hour, build in breaks to accommodate bathroom visits, email checking, refreshments and a quick stretch. If participants know when they’ll have the opportunity to do these things, they’re less likely to disrupt the meeting while it’s in progress.
5. Minimize interruptions. If attendees continually raise their hands or interrupt with questions or ideas they want to share, try handing out notepads. Ask everyone to jot down their questions and comments during the meeting. Then, gather input and feedback at specific points during the meeting.
6. Keep discussions on-topic. When participants drone on endlessly, stray off-topic or exhibit distracting behavior, politely – but firmly – get things back on track:
- Redirect attention. When a participant interrupts, respectfully stop his progress. Don’t answer his questions – stick to your agenda.
- Silence the chatters. Attendees who continuously whisper back and forth can really distract you and disrupt your meeting. So don’t tolerate it! Otherwise, you send the message that paying attention is optional. Try calling the offenders out and ask them if they’d like to share something with the group. In most cases, you only need to challenge a disruptive individual once for him to realize how inconsiderate his behavior is.
Make the Most of Your Work Day
By being prepared and assertive, you can make the most of your work day by keeping meetings productive and on track. And if you’re looking for other great ways to increase productivity in your organization, call Wood Personnel! We’ll sit down with you to examine your work processes and make staffing recommendations to help you alleviate bottlenecks, increase efficiency and get more work done.