Oh meetings- a necessary evil! Whether it’s because of one person who won’t stop talking, or a multi-page agenda sent out 5 minutes before, meetings have a tendency to drag on forever. Try these three tips to make your meetings more efficient:
1. Add times to your agenda
Agendas help keep meetings on topic and focused, but not necessarily on time! Adding times to your agenda convey how long you expect each topic to take. It’s much harder for someone to keep pressing an issue when it’s clearly only been allotted 5 minutes on the schedule. If it becomes apparent that an issue will need far more than the allotted time, then readjust, but not at the expense of letting the meeting run long.
2. Cut down the invite list
If you’ve ever counted ceiling tiles to stay awake in a meeting that didn’t pertain to you, you’ll agree that not everyone needs to be invited to every meeting. Only invite the people who will directly benefit from or contribute to the discussion in some way.
3. Postpone questions
If someone asks a question that doesn’t pertain to the whole group, answer it later offline. Making yourself available to answer questions is important, but not at the expense of everyone else in the group.
Face to face communication and brainstorming can be excellent tools when used properly. Don’t let “meeting” become a four letter word!
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