Everyone working in the corporate world have gone through the dread of sitting through a boring to the bone meetings, some more than others but everyone has gone through these patience testing hours.
While we can complain about how ineffective the individuals involved in such meetings were, this article is not going to fuel that complaint train. We are going to focus on practical, easy to implement actionable items in this article that can turn a mediocre office meetings into a meaningful one.
Have a pre-read for all your meetings:
Organizer of the meeting (or participants) should need the participants to go through certain items before coming to the meeting. Being prepared to contribute to the meeting should be a requirement.
For anyone who has no active role or have nothing to contribute to the meeting should NOT be on invite. If someone needs to be updated later – just include them in your meeting notes communication.
No action, no participation:
If there are individuals who have been attending meetings or were part of meetings and they really have nothing active to contribute – then remove them from the meetings.
If you have recurring meetings – see which individual needs to be on the current meeting. Adjust the participant list based on ‘is there an action for this individual’ basis.
Keep calls short:
If you have allotted 30 minutes, it doesn’t mean the meeting has to go on for 30 minutes. You should make it a habit to challenge yourself and others to end the call at least 5 minutes earlier than last week until you make your calls so succinct that people look forward to attending them because it is full of meat and no fluff.
Never walk out of meetings without action items assigned:
It is one thing to agree that something needs to be done and it is entirely a different league to have broken the action items into tasks, assigning them to individuals with a deadline. Action without deadline will never be done. Never keep any of your action items broad as broadness leaves room for ambiguity.
When you lay out action items into tasks and assign them to individuals, meetings will actually get us somewhere. This will also bring seriousness to meeting invites that come from you because people will realize your meetings mean business.
Distribute discussion points:
There is nothing boring than a meeting where only one individual is tasked with speaking while everyone else is either dozing or drawing circles on their notepads. Part of distributing action items is to give opportunity to MOST individuals in the meeting to have a chance to speak and provide feedback on how their part of tasks are coming along.
When every participant has something to contribute to the meeting – it makes for an active engagement rather than passive lending of ears.
Spend time on raves and never on complaints:
You should have at least some part of your meeting dedicated to rave people and/or progress they are making on assigned tasks. If you are not able to find something to rave about – that means – you are not on right course. These raves have to be genuine and not obligatory. When you force people to focus on positives, it shifts the energy of the team and the meeting.
As I said earlier, these are things that you can implement immediately. Once you do, you will be amazed at the results they produce. No more boring meetings and no more meeting to be bored.