Making the Most out of Meetings

Do you keep a shared calendar that your co-workers and supervisors can view to see your daily whereabouts? Is your calendar full of scheduled meetings? Meetings are a large part of the workday and are typically used to have status updates and get teams on the same page. Keep the following steps in mind to make the most out of work meetings and avoid wasting valuable time.

Set clear objectives

Meetings should always have a purpose for the gathering. What do you hope to accomplish during your call or face-to-face get-together? Are you kicking off a new project or following up on past conversations? Ask yourself if the meeting was a success because clear objectives were set.

The right people should attend

Be sure to invite key individuals to your meeting. You don’t want to be in a situation where an integral team member is left out and nothing gets accomplished. Be sure to include those with the proper knowledge and involvement in order to satisfy the objectives of the meeting. Decide whether to set up a phone call or an in-person conference depending upon the location of the attendees.

Work from an agenda

Writing an agenda for the progression of the meeting is a helpful way to keep things moving. The leader or facilitator should write down a few key points to work from and reference back to if individuals get off track. The agenda can be attached to the meeting invitation or it can be quickly discussed at the start. A detailed agenda will help ensure the productivity of each associate in attendance.

Summarize the meeting

Before adjourning, the meeting leader should briefly summarize the key points discussed during the meeting. This will refresh attendee’s minds and provide a few key takeaways from the conversation. Discuss next steps and whether a follow-up will be necessary. Depending upon the topic, project, and people involved, multiple meetings may be needed. This is also a good time to answer any lingering questions that might not have been addressed.

Making the most out of meetings is essential to the efficiency of our daily work lives. Keeping these suggestions in mind, what steps will you take to improve your meetings?

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