Everyone hates meetings, and they have good reason to feel that way.
Meetings are time consuming, inefficient and boring. Worst of all: they're necessary...sometimes.
Everybody hates meetings because they interrupt the general workflow of a company. The subject of the meeting rarely pertains to every participant. And often meetings are held more frequently than they need to be.
But it's important that employees in a workplace are on the same page.
According to a new article on The Ladder, there are a number of steps you can take to make your meetings better. If you're not running meetings yourself, you can gently pass this along to your supervisor.
1. Explain the Purpose of the Meeting Beforehand
If your co-workers understand why they have a meeting, they can be better prepared to contribute positively.
Before sending the notification for the meeting, have a brief agenda prepared; share it so the attendees feel included.
2. Keep It Short
We've all been in meetings that go too long; we get tired, we daydream, we sometimes get taken by surprise when our input is actually needed all of the sudden. Avoid this by trimming the fat in your agenda; don't let side conversations distract the participants; the more specific your are, the better the meeting will be.
3. Think Twice About Where the Meeting Is Being Held
Can attendees get to the meeting room quickly and easily? When they are in the room, will they be comfortable? Will everyone be able to see the presentation or the speaker?
If people are uncomfortable in the meeting or if they don't have a good view, the meeting is likely to be lethargic and meandering.
4. Bring Snacks
Nothing breaks up the monotony of a 40-hour workweek like the sweetest worlds in corporate speak, "There are doughnuts in the conference room!"
Seriously, some carbs or fruit — depending on what your workplace is into — can go a long way towards getting a meeting off on a good foot.
5. Check Your Phones, Laptops at the Door
Sometimes electronic devices are essential to a meeting. But if they're not, your meeting will go a lot smoother if attendees' attention isn't split between the presentation and their email, etc.
6. Send a Reminder, Make Sure Everyone Who Needs to Be There Can Make It
What's worse than a meeting? Two meetings. If you have a reputation for not getting things done right the first try, all your future meetings will suffer.
Furthermore, if a key decision-maker can't make it, you're probably not going to get done what you need to get done.
7. Keep a Light but Purposeful Tone
If the meeting can be fun, it should be. Don't waste time with a stand-up set, but a little levity can help keep things moving.
Whatever you do, stay on track.
8. Read the Room
Make sure everyone is heard. Keep your eyes out for people's reactions to the presentation; if someone has a question or something to add, make sure they don't miss their opportunity.
On the other side, we've all worked with the person who always has a flurry of questions at the end. People roll their eyes when this one raises his or her hand. Know when to shut them down by suggesting you discuss it one-on-one at a later time.
9. End It!
Recap the keys and actionable items at the end of meeting. Reiterate what you've accomplished and don't let side conversations linger. The meeting doesn't feel over if the boss is still talking after the presentation.
Verbally dismiss the attendees, preferably early; they will remember if you beat the clock.
10. Mind Your Manners
The most precious commodity is time. If someone gives you their time and their attention, you should sincerely thank them for it.
11. Send a Recap
Hey, remember that meeting earlier? Remember what we decided to do? Send a recap to refresh those points and reiterate what is expected of everyone. It can go a long way to preventing an urgent meeting later.
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