By Nora Mork
At their best, team meetings can be used to develop communications and relationships as well as help with planning and the completion of tasks and meeting of goals and expectations. At their worst, team meetings are a waste of time, embedding a sense that future meetings will also be a waste of time and that whatever the goal is, it’s unachievable. So, as you can surmise, there is quite a difference between the two extremes.
Team meetings can vary so much in how effective they are. The amount of time wasted over pointless meetings can be very harmful to a company or organization in the long run, so it is crucial that people work hard to find a way to make every meeting impactful. So, without further ado, here is a list of suggestions to help you make the absolute most of your team meetings.
Produce and Distribute An Agenda Ahead Of Time
When people know what the topic of conversation is going to be at a meeting they are attending ahead of time it solves so many potential pitfalls and increases efficiency. You miss out all of the introduction of topics and you avoid there ever being a situation in which someone has forgotten a folder pertinent to the topic of conversation, which would be a further spanner in the works.
It also gives people a collective sense of what the group needs to get through in order to have had a successful meeting, which can be really important to have a cooperative mindset amongst the team.
Run Meetings By The Clock
Meetings should be timed pretty strictly to give yourself the best chance of hitting all of the material you want to get to. It also allows you to cut out conversations that aren’t necessary when it’s time to move on. “I like to use a system of soft and hard stops”, explains Rosemarie Byrd, a regular contributor at Academized and Oxessays.
“This means that I have the timings in place before the meeting. If the conversation is at a certain comfortable close by a certain time we will move on immediately. In other words the soft stop. But then I build in a buffer zone for further discussion after which the conversation must end to ensure all material gets covered.”
It can be extremely tedious and you might find yourself needing to get an intern to do it for you but recording as precisely as possible what occurs at each meeting will improve overall meeting effectiveness and efficiency. The first thing it ensures is that you don’t talk over points which have already been covered.
If you study the notes from the previous team meeting you can see what has been discussed, what needs to be decided and where you can save time by not getting bogged down in a pointless conversation.
It also makes people feel accountable for what they say or contribute (or don’t contribute). This effect isn’t felt to the extent that people will censor themselves but it’s just enough that people will know that their performance is somewhat under review.
Have A Meeting Leader
This one may actually be very simple. If the meeting is run by a project overseer or a boss it is always good, even if it is an entirely equal group of collaborators, to have someone in control of the meeting.
“Meetings with no point to pivot around can be vague and unfocused as well as potentially becoming a breeding ground for resentment or ill will, with the naturally outspoken members dominating others. It’s important that there is an arbitrator of sorts to organize and conduct meetings to get the most out of them,” says Olivier Wicks, author at Stateofwriting and Bigassignments.
In this age, it is foolish not to use the tools that are available to us. With meetings, there are so many ways to use technology to make the ultimate result of the meeting so much more effective for everyone. Have video conferencing, so that, if someone is traveling for business or away sick, they can still be there.
Having a whole meeting canceled because someone can’t be present is a huge drag on a company. Use audio recording to record the meeting to increase the productivity of the next meetings. Have a shared note-taking platform, like Google Docs, so that the group can all share in the information being recorded for the future plans. If you are imaginative, technology can have a huge impact.
One device that can help you make the most of your meetings is this secure communication device called HELLO 2.
HELLO 2 is a plug and play all-in-one communication device that is combined with Solaborate platform and can easily be controlled via HELLO Messenger app which you can download for free on Android and iOS.
HELLO 2 also works with video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts Meet, Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, BlueJeans, Fuze, Unify, and many others.
Powerful and End-to-End Encrypted HELLO 2 is perfect for:
You can find more info here: HELLO Store
These are just a few beginning points to get you started. It’s clear that everyone’s meeting will be different and have different requirements, but with these tips, you should be well on your way to having an effective and impactful team meeting.