10 great tips for better and more effective meetings
They are found in countless types: Monday’s meeting, briefing, Rush meetings, let-us-get-an-overview meeting, lunch meeting, Zombie meetings, etc., etc
We all know them and everyone who has been to meetings knows that as often as they are essential to the company’s progress, just as often they can be a waste of time and resources.
I en undersøgelse foretaget af Lederne bruger nøglemedarbejdere i virksomheder ca. 50% af deres arbejdstid på møder. Men samtidig svarer kun 26 procent ja til, at de møder de går til, har været deres tid værd.
In a survey conducted by Lederne, key employees in companies use approx 50% of their working hours at meetings. But at the same time, only 26 percent answer yes to that the meetings they go to have been worth their time.
Only 26 percent answer yes to that the meetings they go to have been worth their time
In other words, it means that (too) many resources are used at meetings that could be more effective and where meeting participants’ time could be used more efficiently, if the meeting was better organized
Most of the respondents, 69% and 54%, point to either poor meeting culture or poor attendance as the primary reasons why they often feel they are wasting time for meetings.
In order to help you with a better meeting culture, we have prepared these 10 tips for effective meetings, which you can advantageously consider before holding your next meeting day.
10 tips for more effective meetings
Decide if you really need the meeting
Before putting a lot of effort into arranging the next meeting, consider strongly whether it really is necessary to hold it at all?
Keep costs by holding the meeting to the value you expect the meeting to give you. It may seem like a no-brainer, but there are actually lots of meetings that are just being held because “we usually do” or because “now it was planned” even though there really was no need to hold it.
It is easier to get value out of a meeting that is deliberate and has a clear agenda and goal than it is to get value out of a weekly status meeting.
So it will always be an appraisal matter if the meeting is worth its time, but it is an important consideration to go ahead of all meetings if you want to spend the time as efficiently as possible.
And hey, who doesn’t want that?
Have a clear (time) plan and structure for the meeting
All meetings need structure, send the agenda and goals of the meeting to the participants in good time, even if only a few bullet points.
And if possible, even with some indicative times at the various points and total time for the whole meeting.
You may be tempted to allocate plenty of time, but don’t. Of course, there must be enough and realistic time off, but meetings will take the time that is set for them. (Try to google Parkinson’s Law, it’s a thing)
There is no fixed time ideal for all meetings, the duration depends on the purpose.
Always remember to have a watch within your field of vision so you can keep an eye on time
Choose who’s going to the meeting
Although a meeting is important, it is not certain that it is everyone in the whole project or organization that gets value of participate in the meeting. Or maybe you can find another method of sharing knowledge?
Although sharing knowledge is important, it can have a negative impact on productivity if all employees are involved. Perhaps you can introduce a project management tool or similar, where you can share knowledge and information, and where employees can follow the development without having to attend all meetings.
Organize the information
Prepare and send out the necessary information in good time before the meeting, so it can be reviewed by the meeting participants. And remember to only send out the most necessary so you’re not wasting the meeting participants time in advance of the meeting, or submit an information tsunami that nobody will read anyway.
Make sure all attendees are heard
Some people love to hear themselves speaking, which can lead to tiring long monologues.
As a meeting leader, it is important not to be afraid to cut off people and ask them, in a nice way, to get to the point.
At the same time there will also be introverted people at the meeting who would like to think very carefully before they say anything. Or who doesn’t say anything unless asked.
Make sure to give them the floor as well, as they can often bring a new perspective on the subject.
It may seem simple, but make sure to change your usual meeting room with something else.
The same meetings with the same people in the same environment will give you the same result.
If you want to get the most out of your meeting, you should regularly try out new premises.
And make sure you choose a place with the opportunity to get outside for a trip, where the attendees can make an effective walk-and-talk two and two.
A study by Stanford University shows that walking is increasing creativity..
Prepare an opening and closing “speech”
As the chairperson of the meeting, it is one of your most important tasks to make sure that the meeting or conference gets off to a good start.
In this way, all meeting participants feel comfortable and are more receptive to the program of the day.
If you are good at humor then use it actively to loosen the mood. But beware, it is not being taken up and thus embarrassing.
When the meeting is about to end, use a few minutes to pick up the main topics that have been reviewed throughout the day, and thank the participants for their participation.
Some will welcome the word “icebreakers” with the cold noise and fear. But with some small exercises that do not cross any borders, you can more easily get the conversation started and loosen the mood among the meeting participants. The participants often find that it is not so bad and that it can be fun with a little break from the meeting.
You can also go all in and make some team building exercises. Again, make sure it is at everyone’s level so no one feels excluded.
Remove laptops and go offline
Unless absolutely necessary for your meeting, ask meeting participants to turn off laptops and possibly also mobile phones.
Studies show that students find it harder to understand complex ideas and thoughts and have difficulty remembering what has been said if they have a computer in front of them. This also applies to office workers.
Make sure there are some good long breaks
If your meeting is more than 1½ hours, make sure there is a good long break in the middle.
It is by no means a waste of time, on the other hand it is a waste of time just to drive on with a lot of information that your guests cannot remember anyway.
This is why all school institutions have breaks after approx. 45 minutes of teaching.
Have some small fun games or team exercises ready for the meeting participants, which they can do occasionally, so there are not just a lot of coffee and cake breaks.
Are you ready to hold the next meeting?
If you use these 10 tips as inspiration for your next meeting day, then you are well on your way to the perfect meeting day with good dividends.
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