An often-heard complaint about meetings is that they are a waste of time. However, it’s clear that meetings can be beneficial when done right. A productive meeting is never a waste of time. One of the problems is that meeting planners often do things that hurt the productivity of their gatherings. Here are four common mistakes that make your meetings less productive.
Meetings are an essential part of a business, but there can be too much of a good thing. Employees that are working on multiple projects may find themselves bouncing from meeting to meeting with little time to get things done. Besides slowing everything down, having too many meetings hurts the morale of the team. Few things are more frustrating than having a schedule full of meetings. Using remote meeting tools, like the ones from the Conference Group, can help by eliminating the time spent traveling to a meeting location.
It becomes more challenging to manage a meeting the larger it becomes. Many meeting planners hurt their productivity by inviting the wrong people to meetings. For example, if the unnecessary people are invited to a meeting, time is wasted explaining things or answering questions from people that have no impact on the final decision. Similarly, if important stakeholders aren’t invited to (or can’t attend) the meeting, then time is wasted since the meeting will need to happen a second time when the stakeholders and decision-makers are available. When creating your meeting invitation list, review your agenda to make sure everyone attending has a clear purpose for being at the meeting. When using Together Talk Audio, you can use the blast dial option to call attendees when it’s time to begin the conference call. When you use this feature, you know everyone will be on the call at the appropriate time.
One of the keys to a productive meeting is having a clearly defined purpose and agenda. Many meeting planners will create a barebones list or make one on the fly. To get the most out of your meetings, start the agenda writing process early and determine what you want to accomplish at the meeting. Instead of merely listing the topics to be discussed, your agenda should explain what specific items will be considered and what decisions need to be made. You can also add time blocks to your schedule, so you don’t spend too much time on any one topic. Sharing this agenda with everyone when you send their meeting invitations gives them time to plan and keeps the meeting on track.
Discussions are a vital part of any meeting, but they can become problematic when it gets out of hand. There are a couple of ways that an out-of-hand discussion hurts meeting productivity. First, when people talk longer than expected, it wastes time that could be spent on more important matters. Second, when there is a dominant voice in a discussion, it can stifle the viewpoints of other attendees. If your meeting attendees are discouraged from putting forward their best ideas, then your meeting isn’t being as productive as possible. Together Talk Audio has many features that can help call leaders manage discussions. For example, you can use a Q&A session to control who gets to speak, and you can also mute a line if other people need to be heard.
If you don’t think you’re getting enough out of your meetings, the Conference Group can help. Our suite of online meeting tools can help organizations accomplish more and save money at the same time. Speak to one of our Meeting Specialists to learn what the Conference Group can do for your team.