Six Steps You Can Take To Make Every Meeting Worth Showing Up To
Re: Shared From Forbes.com YECCOUNCIL POST
How many times have you heard “This meeting could have been an email”?
How many times have you left a conference room, virtual or otherwise, feeling like your time could have been much better spent?
How often did you leave a meeting feeling like your talking points weren’t addressed and that your voice wasn’t heard?
We’ve all been in terrible meetings and have felt the detrimental effects of them. It’s a pervasive issue that shows up in every company - and results in hours of lost productivity.
The good news is it doesn’t need to be that way.
Below, you’ll find six easy steps that you can take to make every meeting you schedule more productive and worth showing up to.
1. Use A Meeting Agenda Template
Using meeting agenda templates for every meeting — one-on-ones, team meetings, cross-functional meetings — will help you save time and create consistency across all of your meetings.
MORE FOR YOU
Templates will also ensure the most important and relevant things are discussed at every meeting. Saving and reusing the same template will build the habit of meeting preparation across your team, and everyone will know exactly what needs to be prepared.
2. Collaboratively Build An Agenda In Advance
When people have the opportunity to contribute to a meeting agenda and prepare ahead of time, they feel more engaged and included in the conversation.
That’s why it’s recommended that you build an agenda before every meeting, collaboratively. This will ensure that all talking points are recorded and that everyone at the meeting has a voice — especially if you have members of your team who are naturally a bit quieter.
3. Record Meeting Notes In Real-Time
Most people who attend meetings carry in a paper notebook, take their own notes and never surface those up to the rest of the team they are working with. When and if that person departs the company, the historical record of those notes and decisions are taken with them.
Recording meeting notes in real-time will increase transparency with those who are involved in the meeting, as well as create a single source of truth for meetings, teams and projects. Now that the majority of the office world is working remotely, creating a source of truth for the decisions you make at meetings can be critical for team alignment and communication.
4. Assign Clear Action Items For Follow-Up
Have you ever left a meeting and had no idea what to do next? Unfortunately, everyone knows that feeling.
If you want your meetings to be productive, you need to view the meeting as a productive work session. This means ending every meeting with clear action items and follow-up. This way, when everyone leaves the meeting, they can dive straight into their task list with clarity.
Here’s one pro tip for you: Follow up on incomplete action items at the beginning of each of your recurring meetings. This is a great way to boost your team’s overall productivity and hold everyone accountable.
5. Organize Action Items
Jotting down action items in your meetings means very little if you don’t do anything with the follow-up.
High-performing individuals know that tracking action items post-meeting, organizing them by project and/or priority and following up on them quickly is the best way to keep things moving.
It’s also a great way to show your team that you’ll do what you said you’d do. Being organized and thoughtful about your follow-up means that you build trust and reliability with your team.
6. Give And Get Feedback About Meetings
Exchanging feedback is a great way to encourage constant improvement and iterate on what isn’t working as well as you’d like, and this is especially true for meetings.
When you’re pulling your team into meetings throughout the week, you want to know that it’s a great use of their time, and they want to feel like their time is well spent. Sending out a feedback request at regular intervals about the meetings you’re hosting will ensure that they stay relevant, useful and fresh.
The downsides to poorly run meetings are plenty — lost revenue, time wasted, a hit on company culture, to name a few — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Implementing these six steps for every single meeting will ensure that your meetings go from a total waste of time to time well spent