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Given the conference room has changed very little in its formal approach over the years, our team was focused on creating a relationship between the chair and table that offered a more relaxed but alert condition to Make Meetings Productive. A great deal of attention and detail were also invested in creating a collection of workable Strategies for Successful Business and Group Meetings that offer longevity and sustainability as well. Individual strategies are designed to be interchangeable and easily refreshed.

Require that the meeting owner provide an agenda for the meeting at least 24 hours in advance

Meetings should be targeted and get to the point. The subject seems simple, but it’s the key to get best out of each meeting. Making meetings more productive also means to focus on the participant’s behaviors during the meeting to be sure that all participants will focus on taking decision, moving forward, and are results and solutions oriented. A set of bullets while setting up the meeting outlining the agenda, then a set of bullets immediately after calling out names for action items. From a management standpoint, producing an agenda or a follow-up MOM document is admin overhead for staff in any firm. Checking with each member their agreement on conclusions could increase meeting efficiency as well. One of the main area of improvement in term of efficient meetings. Make sure you have the appropriate number of attendees for a meeting.

Related: Practice to Become a Management Master

Require that laptops be closed for meetings 

Going to take away laptops? Also, to close their mobile devices. Meetings Bloody Meetings by Video Arts is a great video to make your meeting more productive. People are more focused and it breaks the learned habits of sit-down meetings such as small-talk, too many Powerpoint presentations, attention drifting to phones/laptops and so on. Use a pause area or other open space if possible, or empty a few meeting rooms of tables and chairs. Hold more “stand-ups” than sit-down meetings. Certainly anything shorter than 30 minutes should be a stand-up (and personally, unless it’s a working session, we question anything scheduled for longer than 30 minutes). Should not spend more than 10 min combined.

Low on Budget: Are you willing to Work Inside an Open Office Space?

Designate a scribe to take notes for the meeting, if required.

How about confiscating pens and notepads as well… Yes, that’s what we need, meetings where people can’t check their schedules to arrange meetings, check project Gantt charts to find project progress and not have follow-up details for later items like telephone and emails. No way a scribe can take down everything for everyone and have all that detail at their fingertips. However, to supplement, there are a lot of facilitation (digital as well) possibilities out there (for ex. Dialog Mapping) for enhancing the meetings. Let us use them. At the end, the minutes should be shared and later circulated to the concerned. The beasts have the organizing intelligence even the ants & we are human being.

Related: Tired of Endless Liquid Conference Meetings?

Ask if the meeting is necessary and if it can be shorter 

The more time you spend in meetings, the less productive you are. You are always preparing for some meeting, and probably one of the persons in the meeting gets the best out of everyone, but on an overall basis, the net utility of the whole system is going down. Empower your employees to skip meetings they believe will not be useful for them. Don’t be in a meeting unless there’s a purpose for it; either to make a decision, or get people up to speed. In most cases, an email will suffice.

Related: Giving Constructive Criticism Around Workplace

Why accept that someone is up to ten minutes late? Anyone joining a meeting more than 10 minutes late without notifying the group must skip the meeting. Any meeting owner that is late and does not notify the group forfeits the meeting. A good example of how we, ourselves, have jeopardized our own work. Amazing company culture require that the meeting owner put a brief description of the meeting and goals for the meeting into the calendar item. The agenda should be sent in advance and be clear and precise. The meeting head should control the run-away side line topics that have no bearing on the subject. Unnecessary debates should be avoided and focus should be maintained.

Related: 8 Challenges that Teams Often Encounter

There’s no point in scheduling meetings until each participant has their contribution well-researched and fully ready for prime time. Staying in meetings you have no business in is frowned upon. Proactive preparation should be the whole basis for gathering face to face, rather than just fulfilling some pre-established routine meeting schedule. So at the end, efficient meetings are equal to the following formula : Efficient Content (WHAT) + Efficient Process (HOW)

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