Besides, for every person with a laptop open, there’s a person sitting next to them distracted by their typing or peeking to see if they’re actually just cruising Facebook. The same electronic gadgets we carry around these days that help make our lives easier and also have the ability to make us more productive at work — are also the biggest and most dangerous distractions that we have today. Podcast, how addictive these tech gadgets and their applications, 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Onboarding Remote Employees, The Top 5 Types of Employee Monitoring In 2020, How to Optimize ChatBots for Customer Service Betterment, Top 5 Desktime Alternatives (Features, Pricing, Ratings), Top 7 TMetric Alternatives (Features, Pricing, Ratings), How to Host an Efficient Remote Meeting in 2020 (Tips, Tools), Remote Work & Anxiety: How to Reduce Mental Distress Around Confidentiality, Monitoring Employee Attendance (2020 Guide), 13-Step Guide to Running an Effective Meeting. And you’ve got 30 seconds before they start asking the question, ‘Am I going to pay attention to you or not?’ The instant you open your mouth, you are on the verge of having your audience check out.”. Scheduling the meeting at optimal times of high energy. Executing an effective meeting is an important part of a Program Managers (PM)job. Was it easy for you to contribute to the discussion? Same goes for knowing whether to hold a meeting in the first place, and what to do afterward to make sure it wasn’t a waste of time. Effective meeting strategies pdf recommend that the chairperson goes over what has been discussed, what the conclusions are, and what is expected of the participants. As much as possible, avoid scheduling your meeting during someone else’s lunch hour, or at a time when they’d otherwise be reading their kids a bedtime story. People need assurance that stepping outside the norm won’t be a career-ending move. Unless you’re acting as the designated scribe, laptops should be closed and phones should be off the table. It’s important to distinguish between effective and efficient. Carefully select only those individuals who should attend. It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing meetings as the one and only way to collaborate, but that knee-jerk tendency is what gets us into trouble and gives meetings a bad name. Unfortunately, there’s no formula to guarantee that you’re balancing the cost of the meeting to the organization with the potential for creativity, and your best judgment is all you can apply. Before you schedule the meeting, ask yourself this: “what are we looking to achieve with this meeting?”. This guide will walk you through some ground rules to help you organize and run productive meetings. Examples include team or project retrospectives, brainstorming, and one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports. The chances are that on any given day, your schedule is chock-full of them. It puts everyone on a level playing field and encourages more balanced participation. An effective meeting, on the other hand, combines efficiency and thoughtfulness. It transitions them from talking mode to listening mode and gives others a chance to speak. You might not reach full agreement, but that’s okay. How long “too long” is, and how deep “too deep” is, is up to the facilitator to decide). You also need to keep the number of attendees to the barest minimum. Known as psychological safety, this is one of the leading indicators of a high-performing team. At the end of the meeting, the scribe can then take photos of the notes and share it with everyone, including those that were unavoidably absent. They can also make you feel like your schedule is overflowing with meetings. Sometimes it seems as if we're always meeting. The point is to have an agenda that speaks to the result you want – e.g., “Brainstorm 10 or more ways we could reduce customer churn 10% by the end of the year.” If you can’t describe what you’ll be doing in actionable, results-oriented terms, that’s a sign holding the meeting would be a waste of time. Continuous improvement for the win! And it’s okay if the whole team is not in full agreement with the decision. Another way you can tackle such a situation is to hand over the responsibility of taking notes to anybody that tries to dominate the meeting. Here are some tips: 1, Make your objective clear. Before scheduling any meeting, the very first thing you need to consider is if the meeting is necessary. Chances are, the meeting will be more successful this way. Here’s an effective step-by-step guide to help running an effective meetings … As the meeting organizer and facilitator, you have a chance to lead by example and be the first to broach a controversial topic or offer an unusual perspective or idea. Create and share your meeting agenda with them. Effective meetings go beyond an agenda. Even for co-located participants, meeting time can make a difference. The job of facilitators is to keep people on track with the agenda of the meeting. How to run effective team meetings … To make this even more efficient, designate time-blocks that allocates a certain number of minutes to each of these topics to ensure that no important topic is left out. There are many alternatives to meetings that are more effective and efficient than having suboptimal meetings. An Effective Meeting is one where it’s objectives where accomplished within the stated timeframe. At the very least, a good meeting will center on a productive discussion that will be more effective in real time than asynchronously via emails or comment threads. Try this meeting cost calculator from Harvard Business Review next time you’re charged with running a meeting. Some of the ways you can encourage active listening include, You’re probably already familiar with this Mark Twain quote —“A dull pen is better than the sharpest mind.”. What is an effective meeting? Key elements of an effective meeting include starting and ending on time, addressing all agenda items in full and summarizing the results of the meeting … Taking notes during meetings is not just a good habit, but a necessary one. Don’t skip this! In the best-case scenario, a meeting’s purpose is to make a decision or create something collaboratively. That’s fine! It’ll make you think twice about your attendee list! Meetings are very important to the growth and well-being of any business. Atlassian meetings typically capture all that stuff as a page in Confluence (the wiki-flavored intranet tool we make) and share the page with everyone on the invite list and other relevant people. When everyone is on the same page and aware of what should be done, even the most challenging tasks can be completed. What’s important is how you use the time you have – however long that is. But it’s very easy to drift off-topic and bring up irrelevant topics. use of verbal and written communication contribute to the objectives being achieved For a meeting to meet this outcome, or objective, you have to be clear about what it is. It creates more room for creativity to take place. They begin and end on time. Instead, focus your energy on the real ingredients that make for effective meetings: purpose, engagement, safety, and results. Sharing via email and Google Docs works fine, too. Reinforce your desired culture; meetings are carriers of organizational culture. It’s imperative because when people find themselves in meetings where they can’t make any reasonable contribution due to lack of skill or expertise, or that the topics to discuss are irrelevant to them, they’ll see the meeting as a waste of their precious time. Instead of having a scribe type up meeting minutes as you go, have the facilitator jot notes down on the whiteboard, snap a photo of it, then share it out afterward. A: Know if your virtual meeting was effective by asking for feedback in your meeting follow-up email. Sharing broadly reduces the chance you’ll discover conflicts late in the game, and might even lead to an opportunity to join forces with a team doing complementary work. Keep on top of your work from home life with these tips and ideas from our team to yours. When you schedule a meeting at a certain time — you have to begin the meeting with those who are present and let anyone that’s late stand till the end of the meeting. Culture, tech, teams, and tips, delivered twice a month, Meetings should never be held for the sole purpose of sharing information, Department and company all-hands meetings, we solve problems best later in the day when our minds are a bit tired, 6 meeting hacks (and 1 weird tip) that build trust, build trust by asking questions that prompt a deeper discussion, 47% of workers complain that meetings are where productivity goes to die, More on DACI in the Atlassian Team Playbook, Here’s a handy “effective meetings” cheat-sheet you can download, 5 employee engagement ideas that build authentic connections, How to boost your team’s success with shared mental models, 4 communication styles and how to navigate them in the workplace, How to run a remote retrospective and have fun doing it, Finding a meeting location outside the office, Preparing a snazzy slide deck (death to all “consume information” meetings!). It might also be beneficial to use a note-taking app to make sure that you don’t miss anything. Active listening involves focusing all your attention on the speaker, pay attention to their words, gestures, tone of voice, and even facial expressions, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak. If you have to make a decision — you need to press the team harder to make a decision or recommendation so that action steps can be set and taken at the end of the meeting, rather than let them off the hook with a “maybe,” or a vague decision. Working from home isn't easy, and the transition from the office to home isn't totally natural, but with enough awareness and some good advice you can increase your productivity, improve your communication, and remain connected with your team. Yay! There’s the tendency of the scribe getting distracted by pop-ups and notifications on the device. We’re all aware of how addictive these tech gadgets and their applications can be. Those with extroverted tendencies might seem to out-talk everyone because they have a natural inclination of (over-)expressing themselves, while those that are introverted rarely speak up unless called upon to do so. Click to tweet. The only introvert… the only person from Finance… the person who just started last week. But time is not the only thing that is wasted. Someone is assigned to keep track of minutes and the agenda. An effective meeting agenda clearly states meeting goals and discussion topics. Questions like “Why do we think that’s true?” or “Can you expand on that?” or “How could we measure that?” demonstrate humility and curiosity on your part, which sets the tone for the rest of the group. Consider using the DACI method to clarify each person’s role in the decision: driver, approver, contributor, or informed. At the same time, businesses cannot devote endless resources. Although employees can communicate with one another in an organization in many different ways, business meetings — if they are conducted the right way — can be incredibly effective and efficient. A: The first step to conducting an effective virtual meeting … And this will be very helpful for invitees who were unavoidably absent but still need to inform them about the meeting discussions. In reality, … Assign these action steps with a deadline to specific individuals or teams when possible. (Just how long is “too long” and how deep is “too deep” is up to you as meeting facilitator to decide.). You have to be mindful of drifting off-topic for too long or going too deep into technicalities. Effective meetings are collaborative. Don’t be that person. Furthermore, workers consider roughly half of their meetings to be a waste of time, and 73% confess to sneaking in some real work during meetings. But there are ways to run effective, efficient meetings that leave your employees feeling energized and excited about their work. It’s okay to start the meeting by setting the expectation that everyone is 100% focused on what’s going on in the room. (Depending on your company culture, that might not be strictly necessary, but it’s always polite.). It can be tempting to scribble down some points on any sheet of paper and call it your agenda to get it over with. It involves carefully and thoughtfully selecting the right group of people, for the right purpose to deliver tangible results that will add value to the organization. Project planning, mapping out customer journeys, setting goals, solving a problem, choosing X vs. Y… all these are situations where holding a meeting is probably the most effective way to get it done. Even if everyone in the group has a desk in your office, it’s always a good idea to set up your meeting to be accessible and valuable for people joining remotely. The real key to running a great meeting is organizing and running them with a human touch – not like some corporate management automaton. Getting rid of technological distractions like laptops and phones (we’ll get to that in a moment). But here’s how to make the best of it. It’s because efficiency doesn’t care that much if the right people attended the meeting for the right reasons; or if the meeting added any real and tangible value to the business. Department and company all-hands meetings are a notable exception. Get best practices and sound advice on how to create understanding and work together better. A bit of divergence goes a long way when you’re looking for creative ideas, puzzling through solutions to a problem, or exploring options. Things like presentations and status updates often masquerade themselves as essential, but they aren’t that important – these activities can be handled asynchronously via emails, chat, company intranets, etc. Effective meetings are imaginative, participative, innovative and engaging. For 99% of meetings, you can give yourself a break and skip worrying about…. There also is the problem of senior managers taking the helm and coming up with ideas and contributing to a meeting. Using this knowledge — you can engineer your meetings so that in the first 30 seconds of the meeting, you can share the most interesting points of the meeting to arouse the interest of the attendees. They produce ideas, give direction, strengthen bonds and renew vigor. If you’ve done a good job gathering a group with diverse knowledge and perspectives, everyone will be “the odd one out” in one way or another. Keep an ongoing, open dialogue amongst the people you meet with most frequently, and emphasize progress over perfection. Meetings should never be held for the sole purpose of sharing information – that’s what email, chat, and company intranets (e.g., Confluence) are for. Some note-taking apps also allow you to collaborate in real-time. These note-taking apps also make it easier to share the meeting agenda, discussion points, and the action items with all the attendees. Understanding how to run effective meetings is one of the most crucial skills employees at all levels need to learn to thrive at work – but it isn’t merely a matter of doing the obvious things like sharing an agenda and starting meetings on time. He is also the host of The Career Insider Podcast and the co-host of The C.A.R.E. That’s unfortunate. An effective meeting is like Burning Man: there are no spectators – only participants! It involves carefully and thoughtfully selecting the right group of people, for the right purpose to deliver tangible results that will add value to the organization. But you also want the group to bring diverse perspectives and knowledge, especially if the purpose of the meeting is decision-making or brainstorming. You have to regularly track these action items to make sure that some progress is being made. Having clear, concise, and well-defined purpose, goals, and objectives ensure that discussions in the meeting center on essential factors that will lead to the overall growth and well-being of the organization. People want to do productive things that they feel are truly important – but meetings that lack structures can feel like a colossal waste of time. It says nothing about whether the right people were in the room for the right reasons, or whether the meeting generated any value for the business. Discuss the experience with your fellow attendees, and solicit feedback with questions like these: Even if the meeting was a one-off, this feedback will help you plan even better for your next meeting. These stories will show you how to grow your skills, make your own path, and become the best version of yourself. Err on the side of sharing with more people than is strictly necessary. These meetings can be very annoying and disruptive to your daily routine. You might even have the entire group join remotely from their desks. Effective meeting facilitation starts with a review of the goals, or anticipated outcomes … For any meeting to be effective, it needs to have a clear, concise, and well-defined purpose, goals, and objectives. The key is making sure … Over the course of speaking to more than 500 chief executives for my weekly Corner Office column, I have learned the rules to running an effective meeting. In contrast, the junior employees sit around watching the conversation and refraining from making any contribution to avoid being reprimanded (or to avoid feeling inept). You might be surprised by what really matters (and what doesn’t). Few things are more irksome than the person who sends a meeting invite with no indication whatsoever of what will happen in the meeting, and therefore invitees have no clue as to why they’re being invited. That way everyone can close the lid. Once you’ve determined who should attend the meeting — the next step to take is to share the meeting agenda with them. When meetings become demonstrably more effective, they spread a virus of energy and optimism across … We think that they both mean the same thing – they don’t, and you must know the difference. Most of us don’t have formal training in meeting management skills, but anyone can learn to do it well. Inclusivity is more of a mindset than anything else. They can also collect any information that will be needed or prepare questions on things that don’t seem clear to them before the meeting. Include your agenda in the invitation so people can determine whether they really need to be there and, if not, decline the meeting or suggest someone else. Making the meeting environment comfortable. It will keep the teammates accountable and make expectations clear. (for recurring meetings) Are we holding this meeting on the right cadence? An effective agenda increases the productivity of the overall meeting because it establishes expectations on what needs to occur before, during, and after a meeting. Our capacity for creative thinking is the highest right after sleep, so schedule that brainstorming session first thing in the morning. Identify the purpose and goal of the meeting To ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak at the meeting, invent some type of a “. Every ten minutes or so, do or say something that will re-ignite their interest. Win-win. Sharing information should never be the sole purpose of holding a meeting, with the notable exception of department and company all-hands meetings. Meetings can come with huge costs, both in productivity and in time used, so you need to take the time to carefully and thoughtfully determine those that can make unique and relevant contributions to the meeting. Were the meeting’s purpose and agenda clear? Because governmental bodies and other groups and organizations must conduct much of their business through meetings… You can begin by writing the topics you want to center your discussion on in the meeting. (More on DACI in the Atlassian Team Playbook, including a silly video starring yours truly.). Be mindful not to meander off-topic for too long or dive too deep into technical discussions. However, taking your time to prepare your agenda beforehand can help you get your priorities right and keep discussions on the right track, so you don’t miss out on important points to be discussed. Meetings are an essential part of the life of every organization and your ability to run effective meetings with your management skills is a critical part of your success in meeting … Ask the new hire how things look from their still-fresh point of view. Our focus relaxes, so we’re able to see more opportunities and connect more dots. Because last-minute business travel and WFH days happen. Teams are made up of individuals, and they function best when each member is happy, healthy, and productive. Unfortunately, too many of the meetings we attend … Some people are born with more extroverted traits in them, while others are more shy and introverted. You shouldn’t just call a meeting or blast out email invites to everybody that comes to your mind. Please allow me to call bullshit on that. Let’s face it: most of us have too many meetings on our calendars. It’s really hard to keep track of exactly what everyone around you is up to, or how the outcome of your meeting will intersect with their work. To summarize — hold a meeting only when necessary. During the meeting, be inclusive, and assign the next action steps to be taken after the meeting. An Extra Tip — You can actually make the scribe take note the old-fashioned way — with a paper and a pen, or on a whiteboard, rather than with a laptop. I’d even argue that starting and ending on time isn’t absolutely critical for success. Include a 5-minute agenda item at the end to capture any open questions or follow-up tasks and assign owners for them. Some people walk out of meetings with more questions than answer or even wonder why they attended the meeting in the first place. An effective meeting is like Burning Man: there are no spectators – only participants! Turns out, though, you’re not the sole judge of whether the meeting was productive or not. Now stay the course! The meeting leader sets a positive, productive tone for interaction among the meeting participants. 6. If one person starts to dominate the meeting, ask them to take over the role of capturing notes on the whiteboard. A great many more are resolved by a letter, a memo, a phone call, or a simple conversation between two people. Chances are, your meeting will generate some kind of artifact: an action plan, a collection of ideas, a user journey, a list of next steps, etc. Meetings in your organization are supposed to be a cooperative and not contentious. Clearly define the purpose and objective of the meeting. It’s because it serves as a written record of your discussions, decisions, and the next action steps to follow. It can include things like brainstorming new product ideas, analyzing results for the past quarter, and action steps to take moving forward. And it most likely is. Effective meetings are gatherings in which the agenda is clearly defined, the meeting is carefully structured and the participants arrive organized and prepared for the event. After you’ve clearly defined the purpose, goals, and objectives of the meeting, the next step will be to create the agenda of the meeting. If not, how should we adjust. An effective meeting brings a thoughtfully selected group of people together for a specific purpose, provides a forum for open discussion, and delivers a tangible result: a decision, a plan, a list … … Assigning the next action steps to be taken, with the deadline is not enough. Effective teamwork means agreeing to trust each other enough to rally behind the decision once it’s been made. You know the meeting’s purpose because you’ve thought it through. 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