We all have experienced bad and nonproductive work meetings. There are those with an unclear purpose and individuals that you don’t actually need them in the discussion. Regardless, it takes time to spend generating new ideas and solve problems. Here is a list of simple rules on how to run an efficient and productive work meeting that is universally applicable.
1. Make it clear who is facilitating the meeting and what it is meant to serve.
In every work meetings, there should be an objective at achieving a specific goal, the person that organised the meeting will decide what everyone should get out of it and how they will achieve it. Organising a meeting without a facilitator can become directionless and unproductive.
2. Determine what type of communication you are going to have based on the objectives and priorities.
If the objective is to have people with different opinions to go through their differences to get a step closer to what is true and what can be done about it (for example an open-minded debate), the meeting should be conducted differently. Discussions are time-consuming, and that time gradually increases depending on the number of participants in the meetings, the organiser has to decide who are the right individuals should be involved in the decision making process.
In any meetings, try to limit the participation to those who can bring value to the objectives. Avoid choosing people that do not bring much value to the meeting such as group-thinkers(people that do not assert independent views) and solo-thinkers(individuals who are unreceptive to the opinions of others).
3. Direct the discussion by being positive and open-minded.
Accommodating various point of view can be challenging and time-consuming. The facilitator needs to balance conflicting perspectives, push through deadlocks and determine how to utilise the time wisely. Exploring the thoughts of people can provide valuable insights into how they manage their responsibilities. It is also the obligation for facilitators to be open-minded in considering whether they are right or not.
4. Watch out for “out-of-topic discussions.”
Irrelevant topics can slip into the meeting without gaining any positive outcome from them. To avoid this situation, it is best to monitor the conversation by writing down on a whiteboard so that everyone involved can see the progress.
5. Enforce the logic of conversations
Discussions sometimes can get heated up especially when there is a disagreement. Remain calm and be analytical throughout the meeting, it is more difficult to cool down a logical exchange compared to dealing with an emotional discussion. For example, people will say things like “I feel like(something is true)” and concluded that as a fact whereas other people may read the situation differently. Follow up with, “Is it true?” to ground the conversation in reality.
6. Be cautious not to lose personal responsibility in group decision making.
At times, groups can make a decision to work on something without assigning personal responsibilities, so it is not always clear who is supposed to follow up by doing what. Be sure in assigning personal responsibilities to avoid any misdirections.
7. Adopt the “two-minute rule” to prevent persistent interruptions.
The two-minute rule helps to provide speakers uninterrupted period to explain their thoughts before moving to the next person. This ensures everyone involved has the opportunity to fully communicate their thoughts without concerning they will be misunderstood or overshadowed by other people.
8. Keep an eye out for fast talkers.
Fast talkers can be intentional or unintentional as a way to push their agenda past other people’s objections. It can also be a way to avoid appearing clueless. It is the role of the facilitator to ensure everything that is brought up in the meeting makes sense. If there are people feeling pressured or anxious, advise them to take things slowly to ensure their explanation can be easily digested for everyone in the meeting.
9. Achieve completion in the discussion.
The objective of a discussion is to get everyone to align with the directive which leads to decisions and actions. Discussions that did not reach its purpose will not bring any value to the table. When there is an exchange of ideas, it is important to come up with a solid conclusion. When further actions have been determined, get on the to-do list, assign people to do them and specify the due dates.
What are your key rules in setting up a meeting? Do share them in the comment section down below. Follow us for more daily career insights and new hirings to land your dream job. Head over to Jobstore.com and unveil your next job opportunity.
You Jing is a content writer who writes career and lifestyle contents to inspire job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.
Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org