Meetings can become a very mundane and repetitive motion in your week day. Sometimes having too many in a row can turn them into a tedious, and much-dreaded part of your workday. This, of course, shouldn’t be the case, especially if there is important information being shared that requires employees’ concentration and input.
Running an effective and productive meeting is a skill that all employees should master in their careers. It shows good leadership and organizational skills, as well as high levels of communication and engagement in the workplace.
If you’re struggling to think of ways to run a professional meeting whilst making it interesting and engaging for everyone involved, here are some tips you can follow the next time you’re leading a work-based meeting.
Have a Minute Taker
Appointing a fellow colleague with the responsibility of minute-taking shows that you entrust them to jot down all the important information and points that arise in the meeting. It also ensures that a particular associate stays alert and listens thoroughly throughout the meeting. Minute taking is also a great organizational tool as it keeps record of all the content discussed in the meeting, which is handy for those unable to attend and is great to refer back to if needed in the future.
Create a Meeting Agenda
One of the main reasons employees tend to dread meetings is due to how long they can go on for and end up swallowing a huge chunk of the workday. Creating a meeting agenda eliminates that risk as it sets a precedent and step by step plan for what is to be discussed and how long for. Make sure to start and end the meeting on time and have set topics in place with a designated time slot for each. It also helps to have a meeting facilitator present to keep the agenda on track and push discussion along if things are getting off track.
Make Meetings more Inclusive
Removing hierarchy or power structures from a meeting is a really effective and powerful way to encourage everyone participating in the meeting to get involved, and for it to be more interactive and productive. Making meetings more inclusive doesn’t mean everyone needs to speak, especially if they feel shy or uncomfortable. There are several ways to create inclusivity in a meeting. Encourage participants to write down any questions they have throughout the meeting to ask at the end. Or encourage participants to break off into smaller groups to accomplish a given task or lead sections of the meeting as a small team. Switching up leaders and speakers is also a great way to keep the meeting engaging and versatile.
Try at least one of these tips in your next meeting and observe if there is a difference in productivity, engagement, and interaction between employees. Different things work for different companies and work dynamics, but at least one of the above should be an effective tool to implement in your next professional meeting.