7 Change Maker ways to improve meetings
One area where you can make quick and productive change in your organisation, and show your leadership as a Change Maker, is to make your team meetings more effective and productive. Coming up are my suggested 7 steps check-list to help you achieve this.
A few smart changes can result in meetings that get more done more quickly and cause fewer headaches for everyone.
How to be a Meeting Change Maker? Here are 7 practical action steps:
- If the meeting has no clear purpose, don’t have it! It’s amazing how many meetings are held because they’ve always been held. The biggest culprits are those “same day, same time” sessions that people have carved into their calendars. For every meeting, try to come up with a compelling statement that describes the purpose, and identify at least one intended outcome. If nothing worthwhile seems to surface, the same will happen during the session.
- Take the agenda seriously, but not too seriously. There are times when digressions are worthwhile and when certain issues should move up in priority. It’s a fine call every time, but sometimes that fixed agenda has to go out the window.
- Don’t use meetings to rubber-stamp decisions. Often teams come together and try to pretend a group decision when they’ve already “pre-decided” the outcome. If you simply want to communicate information, save everyone’s time and use e-mail.
- Strive for meaningful dialogue. When six people are around a meeting table, it’s like having six computers at the ready. In fact, people are far better than computers because they also have hearts. Instead of “leading” the meeting, learn to facilitate the session. Instead of making statements, ask questions. Instead of raising objections, ask more questions.
- Be your own constructive critic. Are you talking too much? Are you holding back? Are you listening to understand? What would you say about you if you were sitting across the table from yourself?
- Wrap up each meeting with a group evaluation. With everyone contributing, decide what went right during the session, what could’ve gone better, and what should be done differently the next time. Commit to one or two practical improvements.
- Cut down on those meeting minutes. An hour-long meeting should yield a page or two of notes at the most, and these should be circulated no more than two days after the meeting. Use them to keep track of major discussion points, decisions, and assignments.
Have you any extra tips to add to the checklist? What works for you? How do you avoid time-wasting meetings?