Conducting an effective meeting can be tough with any size group. Without some sort of structure, it can get out of hand quickly and make these meetings a waste of time.
Here are some top tips from me and my HARO sources to help you get the most out of your team meetings.
Write and stick to an agenda & hand it out early
This might be obvious but an agenda is key to having an effective team meeting. It helps everyone to stay on track, and be prepared for the topics of discussion. This makes the chances of a successful meeting much better and allows participants to also come up with questions or comments to add to the meeting. David Murphy, the Founder of Dropguys provides more insight:
“The agenda should also be fair for the allotted meeting time and should have time carved out for questions and group discussions. The agenda should be detailed and the times in which certain topics are to be discussed. It is also a good idea to always make any unanswered topics or questions the first topic discussed at the next meeting.”
Have employees put into groups
Putting employees into groups can help with quicker decision making during your meetings. By splitting people into teams, you cut down on the time it takes to come up with ideas and comments which makes for a more effective meeting.
You also increase the chances of coming up with creative ideas and solutions as team members can collaborate. This will make the answers and suggestions given much more useful and unique. It also saves time to have the groups chosen ahead of time and have them grouped together at the beginning of the meeting.
If you are giving out food, do it after the meeting
Cookies, muffins and coffee are always nice to have at a team meeting. However, it can cause people to become distracted and not focused on the task at hand. This makes for a lengthy meeting and you can quickly lose your audience.
Have the snacks available after the meeting and place them by the door so they can grab something on their way out.
Save questions for the end
Lindsey Allard is the CEO and Co-Founder of PlaybookUX. She manages a remote team and has put this specific tip into action for all of her virtual team meetings. She explains more:
“Although questions during a meeting can be helpful to create good discussion, it can hinder the amount of time to finish a meeting. This is why it is best to ask employees to write down their questions and then have time at the end to answer them. It is also possible that you answer their question further into the meeting, so it can waste time to answer it twice.”
Make sure the meeting is accessible after the fact
A great way to make a meeting effective is to take a video of the meeting to be able to post it for employees who may have missed the meeting, or who want to refer back to it. Ben Bozzay, the Founder of Techlockdown, provides more details on this tip:
“This creates a more successful meeting as you have the ability to rewatch it if you feel you might have missed something. It is also a good idea to live stream the meeting for those who might be remote workers, and be able to have them as part of the discussion and team decision making.”
Create a feedback box
A feedback box can allow employees to give their opinions on the meetings and to suggest ways to make them even more effective. Have them write down a suggestion or feedback on a piece of paper and drop it into a box on the way out of the meeting.
These suggestions can also become points of discussion in the next meeting if it is something worth adding.