5 Keys To More Effective Meetings

Is there anything more frustrating for most people in the workplace than a boring and unproductive meeting?  I talk to business leaders and employees every day and over the past 10 years one of the biggest sources of pain seems to be meetings.

According to a worldwide study done by the Microsoft Corporation, business people spend nearly six hours a week in meetings and almost 70% of those surveyed reported that their meetings were unproductive.  It’s even worse for executives who spend 20-50% of their working day in meetings but find 50% of that time is unproductive and 25% of their meeting time is spent talking about completely irrelevant issues.

[MAKE YOUR MEETINGS MORE EFFECTIVE, ATTEND ONE OF OUR LIVE WORKSHOPS!]

Let’s face it, meetings are boring.  What’s worse is that most of them are not just boring, they are tedious, ineffective, soul-sucking nightmares that we would give just about anything to avoid.  Badly managed and run meetings have a terrible effect on employee morale and tend to destroy teamwork. Poor meetings diminish our credibility as leaders and serve to frustrate accountability and responsibility in your organization as employees go off on their own and try to find something interesting to do.

No matter how much we hate meetings and search for ways to avoid them or replace them with technological processes, meetings aren’t going anywhere, because when done right there is no better way to solve problems or make decisions, than in face to face meetings.  If communication is the lifeblood of any organization, and I would argue that it is, then meetings are the heart and the mind.  Done right, meetings can give us a great competitive advantage as we build stronger teams, make better decisions, develop new ideas and engage our people.

How To Lead Highly Effective Team Meetings

Sign-up for our FREE email course and begin leading highly effective meetings.

privacy We value your privacy and would never spam you

Great leaders embrace meetings just like great basketball players embrace the practices and games.  This is how we get things done!  Great meetings are able to instill in your team a commitment to your objectives and powerful accountability.  It does this by helping each individual member of the team understand the collective goal of the group and their individual role in that team success.  With this in mind, here are 5 Keys To Leading More Effective Team Meetings.

  1. Have a clear purpose for your meeting.  Is this meeting about solving short term problems, tactics, or a critical strategic issue?  Do you expect people at the meeting to debate, brainstorm, offer alternatives, or just listen?  One of the biggest problems for meetings is that most of them are a combination of everything, a big pot of “meeting stew” if you will.  When you try to make a meeting be everything to everyone it generally ends up confusing folks about what is going on and what you are expecting from them.
  2. Be clear about what’s at stake.  Do your meeting participants understand what the cost of having a bad meeting is?  Do they know exactly what could happen or go wrong if bad decisions are made?  If they don’t, why on earth should they care about what happens in the meeting?
  3. Engage people right from the beginning.  Have you planned out how you’re going to get people engaged during the first 10 minutes of the meeting?  Think about your favorite movie, In my case I love 007 Bond movies and the first 10 minutes are always intense – I’m on the edge of my seat and “into” the movie right from the beginning.  Now you don’t need a car chase or an explosion but if you don’t set up your topic and dramatize why it matters, you might as well ask your participants to get out their phones, tablets or laptops and completely check out.
  4. Make sure that you have enough time.  One of the most frustrating aspects of meetings for most people is that they don’t achieve any kind of meaningful resolution.  Contrary to popular wisdom, the mark of a great meeting is not how short it is, or whether it ends on time; it is whether it ends with clarity and commitment to moving forward.  Are you going to be tempted to end your meeting before your team achieves resolution for the sake of “being on time?”
  5. Embrace the power of conflict.  Are your people uncomfortable and tired at the end of your meeting?  And no I don’t mean because of boredom. Chances are that your team is not engaging in enough conflict, by which I mean highly stimulating dialogue on ideas and really getting to the bottom of important issues.  This kind of dialogue shouldn’t be personal but it should be highly stimulating, emotional, and bring out all opposing view.  It really is critical that each member of the team air all of their views on a topic.  If they don’t, then you won’t make great decisions or allow them to really buy into that decision when it’s made.

[MAKE YOUR MEETINGS MORE EFFECTIVE, ATTEND ONE OF OUR LIVE WORKSHOPS!]

These five simple tips alone can help you vastly improve the quality and effectiveness of your meetings.  Considering the universal disdain that people have for meetings, genuinely hope that you will implement these tips into your meetings as soon as possible and share them with everyone you know. If you’d like even more information on how to turn your painful meeting problem into a very real competitive advantage, consider signing up for our Free email course. We’ll send you more detailed ideas on how you can lead better meetings as well as templates for better agenda’s and other methods for great meetings.

How To Lead Highly Effective Team Meetings

Sign-up for our FREE email course and begin leading highly effective meetings.

privacy We value your privacy and would never spam you

[MAKE YOUR MEETINGS MORE EFFECTIVE, ATTEND ONE OF OUR LIVE WORKSHOPS!]

Join the Discussion