Unproductive meetings are the WORST. Ain’t nobody got time for that! And ain’t nobody got money for that, either. An estimated $37 billion is lost every year to unproductive meetings, according to this article in Business Insider. YIKES.
Communicating well with your colleagues, partners, and clients can be a struggle sometimes… ESPECIALLY when you feel like there have been a lot of meetings that haven’t amounted to anything.
We’re all busy. Time is precious. Money is scarce. Want to be better at meetings? With a little structure and better communication habits in the office, you can transform your inefficient meetings into productive gatherings. Here are some habits that will completely destroy those boring, unproductive meetings we all hate.
Go in with ideas, comments, or suggestions.
Don’t wait until the meeting to think of feedback or ideas. Not only will you waste precious time brainstorming during the meeting, but you risk drawing a blank, which isn’t a good look. Prepare some thoughts before you head into your next meeting.
Create an agenda to follow.
Unstructured meetings are inefficient. People get off topic and distracted, which usually prolongs meetings for no good reason (and no one has time for that). Giving your meetings structure can help things move along faster.
Set a time frame.
Provide a set time for the meeting, and emphasize that you’d like things to be wrapped up by a certain time. Otherwise, you risk your meeting running longer than it needs to be and wasting everyone’s time.
Make sure everyone leaves with action items.
If you meet with your team about a project, event, or something else, make sure everyone leaves with action items before you leave the meeting. Otherwise, people might not know what they’re expected to do or what other people are supposed to do. If you need to meet multiple times about something, assign team members actionable items to present next time. This ensures that everything gets done.
Make sure everyone is clear on what’s happening.
Sometimes people tend to go off into “la la land” during meetings. In addition, poor communication between colleagues can often result in misinterpreted ideas, thoughts, and feedback. Before you leave your meeting, make sure everyone understand what’s expected of them and double check to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Stop wasting time and money on unproductive meetings. Instead, start incorporating these good habits when you have meetings with your team, partners, or clients.