August 9, 2020
If your company is growing fast and could hire loads of employees you might have felt like “why there are such many dreadful meetings that I have got to attend?”.
To be honest I deem it’s kind of a “passage rite” and inevitable to some extent, but at least I’m sure we can mitigate the issue by making each meeting productive and on-time as much as we can. Here are some examples I usually do when facilitating a meeting(disclaimer: of course not always especially when I’m busy).
As far as I’ve experienced, this is the key. The productivity of a meeting heavily depends on how much we’ve prepared and we’d never be constructive in a meeting without it. I’ve thought this is sort of obvious thing but come to realise most people tend to forget when having a hectic time.
In any way, the following points are what I basically carry out beforehand as a preparation.
- Prepare an agenda: the goal, what to discuss and associated context among other things. Hopefully prior to 24 hours.
- Share the proceedings on Slack or email with its excerpt. The attendees can get to know whether they should attend to the meeting or not. Note that people are relatively passive when they’re not an owner of something and that’s why we need the excerpt.
Once a meeting gets started, focus on a discussion on important topics not to waste attendees precious time. You can low-prioritise sharing part or daily routine check later on.
Another crucial point is to make sure keeping time as scheduled. If you need more time to discuss or make a decision, narrow the attendees once finishing off or continue the discussion online. Again, attendees time is really precious and the habit could contribute to a healthier culture of your organisation.
To track the action items constructed in a previous meeting, don’t forget to check them periodically. In my understanding, a meeting is to achieve either of making a decision or coming up with next actionable steps. If you can’t make it, there might be something wrong.
To summarise, there are only a few points you should keep in mind.
- Prepare an agenda and send it out beforehand
- focus on important discussions and keep a time
- Track action items, never leave as it is
More fundamentally, it’s also quite effective to review the legitimacy of each meeting constantly and drop as appropriate. But with the small tips and tricks you’d be able to spend more productive time in a day.
Happy tedious meeting!