But, sometimes meetings can be seen as one of the most unproductive activities for you and the other people who will participate at the meetings.
Probably you have already heard about effective meetings and different strategies as keep them short, use agenda, be concise and so on. But, here I would like to propose one methodology that I am personally using on my everyday basis and always recommend it to all my clients.
If the meetings are seen as unproductive activities at your small business you can’t expect that they will produce a real useful recommendation or next action steps that you or your team will need to implement after the meetings.
Why you will use meetings if they are not something that gives you the results that you want to achieve?
Let’s look at these recommendations that really can make your meetings to become one of the most productive weapons in your small business.
- Call only three to five persons per meeting. More than 99% of the meetings don’t require to have more than five participants. Why you want to lose your time and focus by inviting too many people who can’t help you in producing the best recommendations and conclusions from the meeting. From my personal experience, the most effective meetings are those meetings that have limited number of participants with the knowledge and power related to specific problem as a main subject of the meeting.
- Always send agenda enough time before the meetings. Probably you know what you need to talk and what will be the main purpose of the meeting, but other participants in many cases will need to prepare themselves before the meeting. If you want to manage really effective meetings send them agenda and tell them to prepare themselves for the meeting. If they come unprepared, you can’t expect that your meetings will be productive and will give you the results that you want to receive.
- In less than three minutes explain the agenda of the meeting. Because you are the person who organizes meetings you will open the meeting and in less than three minutes you will need to make a short explanation about the main purpose of the meeting and proposed agenda. You have already given them agenda enough time before the meeting, and now you can simply explain what you expect to be the main output from the meeting.
- In next three minutes explain the problem as a central point of discussion of the meeting. In the next three minutes, you will need to explain the real problem that will need to be discussed on the meeting. Tell them what the real problem is, what are the consequences of the problem and why you need an optimal solution for the problem that will be the main output from the meeting.
- In the next 20 minutes ask all participants to give you really open and free-mind proposals of possible solutions. Now, give them 20 minutes for the discussion. If you have five participants on the meeting these means that each of them will have 4 minutes for discussion. Because they are already prepared, this is really enough time to receive useful feedback from meeting participants. But, if you have three participants they will have more than 6 minutes to present their ideas for possible solution.
- In the last one minute make a conclusion and further recommendations. Spent the last minute from your 27 minute meeting to pull down the main conclusions and recommendations as the output from the meeting. These conclusions and recommendations will need to have incorporated in themselves next actions steps for each participant of the meeting.
- After the meeting send minutes of meeting along with recommendations for next steps. And a last thing is to ensure that everything that was agreed on the meeting will be implemented in the specific time frame. You don’t need meetings if they are not something that will produce actions and improvements of your small business. Because of that, always after the meeting send to all participants what actions you are expecting from them about the implementation of agreed solution.
That’s all folks. Isn’t this process really simple?
Question: How much time you need to manage really effective meetings? You can leave a comment by clicking here.