Meetings – they’re a necessary part of business, but so many people get them wrong. Most people have had a bad meeting experience, so let’s look at ways to ensure your meetings are always a valuable use of everybody’s time. Here’s our guide on how to hold effective meetings and we hope it helps you with your next one be it in person or via video.
Ensure the meeting has a purpose
If you’ve ever walked away from a meeting with the question, “Could this have just been an email?”, you’re not alone. One of the biggest frustrations with workplace meetings is relevance. To attend a meeting and have somebody regurgitate information from a page is extremely annoying. A great meeting involves discussion, ideas, information sharing and problem-solving. If you’re scheduling a meeting that won’t have any tangible results at the end, think about whether you really need a meeting.
So, before you even book a meeting room, consider the purpose of your meeting. You should walk away from a meeting feeling like constructive discussions have been had. If your meeting was scheduled to solve a problem, ensure you actually reach a conclusion before leaving.
Include relevant stakeholders
The other important thing to do is ensure all relevant stakeholders are present. It’s become common in meetings these days for the person in charge to use a ‘questions parking lot’. This is basically just dodging questions, saying they’ll seek answers from higher up after the meeting. As a result, people walk away feeling that nothing was resolved and they don’t even have the answers they need.
You can’t predict everything, but if you know that you’re going to have to ‘park questions’ for somebody else to answer, why not invite them? If they’re in a different office, have them join virtually. We’ve got the technology now, so meetings should be more effective than ever.
Choose the right time
It might seem like a no-brainer, but always choose a good time for your meeting. Friday afternoon at 4pm? Not a great choice. First thing Monday morning? Also not terrific. Choose times that make sense for all attendees. Mid-morning or afternoon is usually good, but try to stay away from people’s regular lunch breaks or they may be inattentive or annoyed at being there. Remember, if you have people attending from different time zones, it needs to suit them too.
Pick a suitable venue
How many people will be attending your meeting? Will virtual guests be involved? There’s a lot to think of in the modern business landscape, so make sure you take these things into consideration. With so much remote work, hybrid workplaces and other flexible arrangements, it’s not always easy to get everybody in the same room.
So, you’ll need a meeting room with the technology to support virtual attendance. For longer meetings, you may also need catering or people to set up a professional meeting room. You can hire meeting rooms to suit your specific needs.
Use an agenda and stick to it
A meeting agenda should be more than just a guide. If you’ve got certain topics to cover, follow the agenda to the letter. You should also provide attendees with the agenda prior to the meeting, too. Some people choose to put time limits on certain agenda items but this can sometimes be just as irritating as operating without an agenda.
It’s not necessarily the length of meetings that bothers people, it’s wasted time that grates on them. If you need additional time to resolve agenda items, take it. At least if people are in a meeting longer than expected, they’ll walk away feeling like it was a valuable use of their time. This is one of the biggest keys on how to hold effective meetings and we have seen change teams attitudes about them.
Keep people involved
Finally, try to keep people involved as much as possible. Allow questions, ask for input and encourage discussion. A meeting should never be a one-way street, otherwise, people lose interest and focus pretty quickly.
Also, ‘going around the room’ at the end of a meeting to ask if people have anything to share is a terrible way to get engagement. Most people just say no, and those that do want to raise other issues are looked upon unfavourably for raising issues that may not be relevant to everybody else. Rather, ask for topic submissions before the agenda is prepared and include relevant items there.
So there you have it, our guide on how to hold effective meetings. If you need meeting room hire in Wellington, contact the friendly team at Urban hub today. We’ll take care of everything so that you can get down to business.