I know for a fact that people continue to be frustrated with the length and quality of their meetings, because people keep on clicking articles about how to improve them. In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels shares his four tips gathered from experts on how to make meetings a better experience:
- Spend the first five minutes on aims and objectives.
- Stop people from straying into other areas of business.
- Use collaborative technology and be wary of “presenteeism.”
- Focus on empowerment, ownership, and delivery.
Meet and Lack of Greet
The bigger the meeting attendance, the higher the likelihood that not everyone understands why the meeting has been called. If you spend the first five minutes defining objectives to be met during the meeting, that confusion goes away. However, if a key stakeholder is late to the meeting or misses it altogether, it is up to the presenter to display strong leadership by deciding right then how many meeting objectives can still be capably met.
A guaranteed way to let a meeting stretch into infinity is to allow people to blab off-topic from the discussion at hand. One way to avoid this is to insist on only allowing subjects to be discussed if they are on the approved agenda. This may not be a perfect solution, as perhaps some valid discussion points would become muted by this rule, but it may be worth a try. Enough important discussion could stay on the table to make the little sacrifices worth it.
As for the third tip, “presenteeism” is simply a desire to be physically present for meetings. But technology like Skype makes it so that people do not need to be present. Allow the available technology to unite people, especially if it saves people hours of driving. Likewise, if a meeting is scheduled for 30 minutes and finishes in 20, just let everybody go—no need to pad.
About the final point, Samuels shares this:
“The most critical piece of time management advice for any IT leader is to think carefully about the creation of the team. Clarity on ownership and empowerment, and in the way in which the team delivers, is essential,” says Richard Corbridge, CIO for the Health Service Executive in Ireland.
Good luck with that next meeting. You can view the original article here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/time-management-tips-how-to-create-meetings-that-work/