Scheduling and Hosting a Productive Meeting 101

21 August 2019
By : Rodolfo Ruiz Sosa

Picture this. You’re in your office, lackadaisically browsing Amazon for something you don’t need. Then suddenly–you hear a noise. Far different than the clunky whirs of a printer and anxious clicks of a pen; this distinct sound demands you to take action. For you have just received… A NEW EMAIL. Now, your attention has been taken hostage, and in order to focus on your “work,” you must handle the situation immediately.

So, you open the email and see that it’s a meeting invite. As always, you tepidly accept the invite and brace yourself for what will hopefully be a productive meeting. However, we all know that these get-togethers don’t always turn out to be the productive gatherings they were intended to be. This happens for a myriad of reasons. Some people like to window shop online instead of contributing. Others zone out on social media during the meeting. Granted, many people attempt to steer the discussion in the right direction, but oftentimes, everyone leaves the session unfulfilled as they reflect on the past hour with a vague sense of purpose.

Why does this happen? How does this happen? Well, the answer is a bit convoluted and there are many reasons for why these discussions flop. But, it’s important to recognize that meetings shouldn’t be time-vampires, because at the end of the day, it’s the company’s time, resources, and revenue that’s exhausted. So, allow me to offer you a few solutions for holding effective meetings and detail what you can do to make every meeting–a productive meeting.

 

 

brown woman asking for help to do a productive meeting
girl with glasses taking note about metting efficiency tips

 

The Definitive List of Meeting Efficiency Tips

Avoid accepting every meeting invite. Before clicking that ‘Attend’ button, make sure you have enough information.
• Understand the purpose of meeting.
• Determine if you need to be there.
• Think of what you can offer to this meeting.
• Is this meeting a priority?
• Is it time-sensitive?
• Do I have enough time to arrive prepared?

Ask the following before scheduling a meeting:
• Is this meeting truly necessary? Could it be an email instead?
• Which participants are needed, and which ones are optional?
• What must be done to ensure the goal of meeting is accomplished?

Make meetings shorter and succinct.

• Limit to 15 or 30 minutes whenever possible.
• Time restrictions prevent prolonged meetings and create urgency
for people to accomplish the goal of the meeting within that set
timeframe.

Set clear and manageable expectations.
• State the purpose of the meeting upfront.
• Ask for attendees to come prepared with their respective
offerings.
• Send materials ahead of time. As in, at least a day in advance.
• Use the time to actively discuss and resolve items/issues.

Be respectful of everyone’s time.
• Start and end on time.
• Ensure every necessary person is present.
• Discourage multitasking and provide a comfortable space for
engagement.
• Encourage remote attendees to connect via video-call.

 

 

man juggling alarm clocks for productive meetings

 

Avoid monopolizing the conversation. If the meeting isn’t for conversing or collaborating, thten the meeting should actually be an email.

• Here are some methods to keep in mind for more purposeful meetings.
• WAIT (Why Am I Talking)
• Am I saying something:
• True?
• Helpful?
• Informative?
• Necessary?
• Kind?
• It’s vital to know what, when, and how to contribute to the conversation
in order to successfully play your part in an effective meeting.
• Always promote participation and engagement.

Keep the conversation on track.

• Avoid or reroute tangents; table them for an email or another discussion.

Recap the discussion and highlight the next steps to be taken.

• After the meeting, quickly email the recap to the team so everyone is on
the same page.
• Hold people accountable.
• Determine if that meeting was necessary to better optimize your future
meetings and decide if an email would be more suitable.
• Did this meeting accomplish its goal? If not, why? If so, Hooray!

 

 

If you consider all of the above before scheduling -or- accepting your next meeting, then you’re well on your way to the best, most productive meeting you’ve ever had. Remember, meetings DON’T have to be mundane! Regardless of your job title, you now have the key components of an effective meeting and can lead by example… or you can just forward this article to your entire office.

Good luck!

¡Gracias!

Soon you’ll hear about our future blog entries.

Enjoying our blog?

Drop your email here to catch our latest updates.
(Don’t worry… we never email or eat SPAM.)


Have a challenge for us?

We have answers... in English or Spanish!