The speed at which decision-making and process improvement take place in a business today requires a range of inputs. But too often, awkward and poorly planned meetings create more issues for a company than supplying the much-needed solutions they promise.
Here's how to avoid confusion and productivity-sapping, open-ended group conversations by:
Communicating the Purpose
Clearly identify the objective(s) of the meeting in advance. Is the focus administrative, strategic or operational? And what exactly is the goal?
Choosing the Venue
While initially expressed in the invite, this is also affected by the meeting venue. Meeting in a coffee shop versus a conference room enables attendees to drop their guard, whereas standing in an office common area can inspire efficient thinking and discussion by keeping meetings brief and focused.
Keeping it Clean
Invite only essential voices and streamline visual aids. Often less is more: consider ditching the PowerPoint slides altogether.
Mixing it Up
Incorporate unwritten rules such as “No Meeting Monday” or “Standing Only Meetings” to encourage productivity among team members.
The facilitator should encourage and be ready for rapid feedback. By quickly absorbing and curating it, they can more readily summarize the outcomes and next steps.
Giving it Away
Look for and summarize one to three top takeaways, delegating action steps before employees vanish from the meeting.
For regularly scheduled meetings, try experimenting with these suggestions until you establish a routine format that works best for you and your team.