How to run a productive and efficient meeting?

Understand what are the techniques to hold an efficient meeting (in person or remote) and make better use of your time

in 04/15/2021

Meetings are common in companies and are necessary to make decisions together or to share ideas. The fact is that, even if trivialized, meetings are still important items in any project.

Being a face-to-face or remote meeting, some items are important for the meeting to be efficient:

Send invitations by email - with the agenda!

Even if the meeting is the only one of the week, always send an email invitation to all attendees. The invitation reserves a time in the participants' agenda, determines the duration of the meeting and creates a communication link between all the invitees (to send a report later, for example).

Nobody likes to be invited to a meeting that does not know exactly what will be discussed and even if the subject is clear, it is important to put in topics the subjects that will be covered in the body of the invitation, as well as reporting the need to bring some material or prepare something before.

Start on time - even if not everyone has arrived

It's not easy, but we know that in some regions the delay in all commitments is part of people's culture. Even so, if possible, start the meeting at the appointed time out of respect for those who were not late. When punctuality is required, but punctual people are penalized by the delay of "non punctual", a new culture of delay and non punctuality is created over time in those who were punctual.

The fact is that punctuality makes things happen at the appropriate time, because if in a meeting of 10 guests, 9 are penalized because of the delay of 1 person, you are causing a time liability for the company itself. Imagine all meetings in a year, with 15-minute delays multiplied by the number of participants. This is the liability.

When it is not possible to start the meeting on time, at least try to end it on time.

To make it possible to start on time, as the organizer, you need to arrive earlier and leave everything prepared, ok?

break the ice

Meetings don't have to be cold, so there's no problem starting with a loose topic. This subject can be useful when all participants are expected to be present. Breaking the ice creates a friendly meeting environment and puts people at ease.

Reinforce the agenda and end time of the meeting as soon as it starts

When starting the meeting, reinforce the agenda that was sent by e-mail and the topics discussed above, so that everyone is in line with what will be discussed. People mentally create "checklists", so the meeting agenda will prepare the minds of those who have some consideration.

Also reinforce the end time of the meeting, so that everyone can plan and avoid distractions during the matter.

Show the progress of subjects

Whenever an issue is completed, mark it as completed in the agenda topics. This will make the participants realize that the speed of handling the issues is important and that the meeting is ending.

Avoid distractions and long meetings

Do not answer calls or answer messages during the meeting. If possible, ask everyone to put their cell phone on silent.

Close on time - even with unfinished business

Just as it is important to start a meeting at the agreed time, ending also brings a feeling of responsibility and respect for what was agreed. Participants may have scheduled an appointment, delivery, or other meeting after yours, so even if there are unfinished business, end the meeting on time and schedule it for another day.

Long meetings are not pleasant and cause discomfort for participants. These meetings are often not efficient, especially if only one or two people speak during the entire meeting.

Some culture changes are not easy, but over the days, these attitudes become part of the company's culture and the work flows smoothly and efficiently.

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