Nothing can ruin a day like an unproductive meeting. Beyond preventing those in attendance from being able to complete their daily tasks, it can lead to stress, missed deadlines and animosity towards the person that “wouldn’t let anyone else speak.” So follow these five steps to make your next meeting more productive and less stressful.
- Create tasks and objectives. Make an itinerary listing everything to be covered and the objectives of the meeting. Ensure everyone has it the day before the meeting. And stick to it. Items brought up that are not on the list get scheduled for a future meeting.
- Be prepared. Prior to the meeting, make sure all the key players have or bring whatever notes or handouts they’ll need. If they come unprepared, then the item gets checked off the list or rescheduled for a future meeting.
- Set a time limit. People generally don’t mind short meetings. Try to keep them under 30 minutes. Set a unique length like 22 minutes as it will make it easier to stick to. Make it clear that whatever points don’t get covered during the meeting’s scheduled time get delegated or rescheduled.
- No recaps for latecomers. Trying to bring them up to speed will just cause the meeting to start from the beginning. Let them know there will be notes.
- Document the meeting. Assign someone the job of recording the minutes of the meeting. Then ensure that all those in attendance get a copy within the next day or two. Also check with others who may need to review the minutes in order to follow up with co-workers.
Marc Gordon is a professional speaker and marketing consultant. Get more marketing tips on his website, marcgordon.ca and on his online show, marctv.net.