“Just walk out of bad meetings,” Elon Musk is reported to have said, back in 2018.
Unfortunately, not every employee will have this option. And as research shows that only around 50% of meeting time is used effectively, that’s a lot of potentially productive work-time wasted.
So, here are some ways to make your meetings more effective.
Keep numbers low
Only invite people who can make a direct contribution to the meeting’s subject. The more people in the room (or on the Zoom), the less focused they – and you – are likely to be.
Know your meeting’s ‘why’
This may sound obvious, but make sure your attendees know why you’re organising the meeting, and give them enough time to prepare their thoughts in advance.
Keep to time
If you’re hosting the meeting online, log in early and check that everything is working, so as not to hold everybody up. Don’t wait around for stragglers, as this penalises those who made it on time.
If the meeting looks like it will overrun, ending it at the stated time and arranging a follow-up is likely to be more appreciated than powering through – especially if people have other commitments later on.
Encourage individual engagement
Keep everybody engaged by actively drawing them into the discussion, asking for their individual thoughts and opinions where appropriate.
Bearing in mind that not everybody will feel comfortable sharing their ideas out loud, you could also consider asking for written contributions, as mentioned in this FT article. Writing ideas down could also have the effect of neutralising those with the loudest voices (there’s always one in every meeting!)
Finish on a high
End your meeting by summarising any agreed solutions and clarifying next steps. That way, everybody will be clear about what has been achieved, and what they now need to do.
To find out how Viridian HR can overhaul your people strategy, please get in touch.