Many leaders and organizations spend a lot of time and energy on meetings. They get together; the free for all ensues; they go back and forth for a while and everyone leaves wondering what happened. What if you could run meetings with less effort and get more done? Read on for some practical tips to make your meeting easier.
1. Design a clear, concise list of topics. Even for brainstorming meetings. Set a clear and simple agenda that people can follow. Try to limit the amount of items to 3-5.
2. Set a time limit. Part of the exhausting part of meetings is when things go on and on. Set time limits and keep to them. You can always go back and revisit things if you need to.
3. One person talks at a time. The crosstalk, interruptions and discussion tends to lengthen and complicate meetings. Keep things simple by asking that one person talk at a time.
4. Minimize personal egos. People like the sound of their voice and will talk just to appear involved or important. Reduce this dynamic by encouraging everyone to share and to do so in a time-limited manner.
5. End on time, thank people and encourage follow-up. Thank people for great ideas and keep an open door for future discussion.
One of the major hurdles in meetings is that people somehow expect that great things will come from a disorganized process. Try the tips we’ve talked about here and see if you can get rid of some of the noise and run more effective meetings.