A Productive Meeting Includes these 4 Items

Productive Meeting

A Productive Meeting Includes these 4 Items

Do you ever look at your calendar and see a day filled with back-to-back meetings and let out a big sigh? What if your company had more productive meetings that allowed for fewer meetings. In this blog, you will learn tips for having a productive meeting. Try incorporating these 4 tips in your business and see the benefits yourself. 

1. Make Sure the Meeting has a Goal 

Having an agenda for employees to look at is helpful because they know what is going to take place and what to expect during the meeting. Also, having a goal set during the meeting ensures the meeting will accomplish what the allocated time is made for. If there is not a set goal or an agenda you risk ending the meeting without tangible outcomes or action items. Once this happens another meeting down the road could take place which could be avoided. 

Before we come up with the meeting goal we need to first validate whether or not a meeting makes sense to accomplish the goal. Most meetings fall in the following categories: asking for feedback or getting approval, alignment, making a decision, or sharing information that requires an immediate follow-up action. When announcing an update a meeting isn’t needed. 

We’ve all heard and said, “that entire meeting could’ve been an email”. When a meeting is well defined with goals attendees will agree the meeting was beneficial and they will feel aligned. 

2. Sharing an Agenda Ahead of Time 

When a proper agenda is created it can decrease meeting time by up to 80%. More than 35% of employees found that they waste 2 to 5 hours per day on meetings and calls, but nothing is achieved. Agendas are an essential part of making sure a meeting is productive. Recognize the most common kinds of meetings and create an agenda structure or template that works best for the team. Then the team can fill in what they are going to present to their colleagues. The agenda should break down what is going to occur and in a specific order. 

If you plan on calling on an attendee be sure to give them a heads up. This way they are prepared for what you are asking them to present. 

Once the meeting is over be sure to reiterate the next steps and let the attendees know where the meeting notes will be located. 

3. Keep a Decision Log 

A decision log allows you to keep track of all the important decisions made during meetings. The log can be simple with a few bullet points or have an elaborate table. Whatever you decide to go with, it is important to be sure all important decisions are written down, along with how the decision was made, and who made the decision. As well as when certain decisions were made and why those decisions were made allows the team to look back and re-evaluate in the future.

4. Make Explicit Action Items with Owners & Timelines 

After a productive meeting be sure that there are explicit next steps. The action items need to be tied to the meeting goal, assigned to a specific person, and given a deadline. 

Otherwise, the attendees are unsure of their responsibilities and what needs to be done before the next meeting. It is best practice to decide if another meeting is needed after the action items are completed and when that meeting should take place.

5. Have a Host Facilitating the Meeting and Someone to take Notes

Have a set person to facilitate the meeting. Most of the time this is the person who called for the meeting. This person is responsible for establishing the common goal, creating the agenda, recording the decisions made, and driving the action items, and assigning owners and timelines.

The host should enlist someone to take notes. Once the meeting is completed the meeting notes, decision log, and action items should be shared with all attendees and others who need to be involved. 

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