Five Simple Questions for more Fruitful Meetings
I have rarely come across anyone who told me that a meeting was too short or too effective or too prompt. Here are 5 simple questions to ask yourself in the run up to a meeting to ensure that your meetings are as effective as possible.
1.Do we really need to have a meeting at all?
Could it be that actually we can achieve what we need to through some memos, phone calls or conversations? Do we actually need to all be in the same room together?
2. How well put together is my agenda?
What are you trying to achieve from the meeting? By really considering what needs to be on the agenda, and carefully placing the meaty stuff rather than the easy stuff at the beginning, meetings are less likely to overrun and the items that really need everyone’s concentration are sorted straight away.
3. Do I need so many people to attend?
Every additional person attending is likely to make the meeting run on further. Keep the numbers as small as possible to keep the meeting as effective as possible.
4. How do I make the most of the time?
Do you really need an hour for the meeting? If you give yourselves half an hour, could you still achieve what you need to? Often the meeting stretches to the time that you give it. Also make sure you start promptly, regardless of whether people are late. This sends a message to people to get there in time next time.
5. Have I really thought through what people are going to want to hear in order to achieve what we need to from the meeting?
By doing your preparation and encouraging others to do the same, the meeting is more likely to be effective. If you haven’t got all the information people are going to want to hear, it may well involve another meeting! Also you know your attendees, it is likely that they will have the same kind of questions each time. Have you prepared for Jenny from IT’s likely question about software compatibility for example?
These are some simple questions that should make a difference to the effectiveness of your meetings. Every minute saved in a meeting is productive time at work for every single person at that meeting. If you have 10 people at a meeting, 1 minute becomes ten. Six minutes becomes an hour. This is time worth saving and the cumulative cost of getting it wrong is massive.
If as a team your meetings are regularly being ineffective, you might wish to consider facilitation to explore how best to move the whole team forward. The investment should pay off quickly!
The Harrison Network offers skilled team coaching and facilitation to support your team’s performance development. Get in touch for a consultation.
Back to blog