Reduce meetings by 30%, and make your meetings more effective with the power of Smartsheet.

Top meeting rules. Working time is live time and no one want to waste his/her time.  Every one of us has endured a horrible meeting. When you arrive on time, the meeting begins 10 minutes later than expected. Some people begin to share ideas, while others reject them. The meeting ends without really making any decisions, and you cry for the hour that was wasted. Often people are for participating for 60min in a meeting just to give a 3min update on their task. 

Through this article, I will share with you some tips and tricks for effective meetings but to be clear a meeting and communication culture can just be changed if everyone is pulling in the same direction.

The first rule: choose the right audience

Sometimes when we are invited for a virtual meeting, we may ask a question like: “ wait, what I am doing here right now?” The key takeaway is that inviting the wrong people to a meeting can waste time and leave attendees feeling underappreciated. As the meeting’s organizer, it’s crucial to make sure you just invite the important parties. It seems sensible to include every touch point in the meeting, but attempt to determine whether it is required. This also raises the issue of how difficult it may be to keep a meeting on schedule and cover all the important topics that need to be discussed when there are too many participants.

Exercise: Imagine the people you are inviting you need to pay for attending 100$ per minute, who you would invite?

The second rule: Set the Agenda

“Give me an agenda or else I’m not going to sit there, because if I don’t know why we’re in the meeting, then there’s no reason for a meeting.”Annette Catino, Chief Executive of the QualCare Alliance Network.

Of course, coming together with colleagues, and superiors can have many different purposes defined in the beginning if you plan a decision meeting/working meeting / just information meeting or… and start to define frequency and duration from 15min standup meetings to 45min or longer everything is widely used. But don’t forget the average person can no longer contrite than 90min then a 15min break should be considered 

Even though it can seem like a necessity, many meetings begin without a clear agenda. The agenda for the meeting can be outlined on a handout, written on a whiteboard, or directly discussed at the beginning, but everyone should be aware of the purpose of the gathering and what they are expected to accomplish. 

Tip: Add not just Topics to you’re meeting agenda but also cluster the points into Information / Decision required / Action required With utilizing Smartsheet you can even give your audience the possibility to add agenda point upfront. 

The third rule: Start on Time and don’t forget to End on Time.

Keeping people invited to the meeting waiting for the person in charge to show up for the presentation is disrespectful. Of course, time is money, and all that waiting around for the boss to show up is a waste of a valuable resource. Employees look to the person in the corner office for guidance when developing the unwritten rules of the workplace. Meetings will begin on time if that person desires that they do so. 

“If the meeting is at 8, you’re not here at 8:01, you’re here at 8 because the meeting’s going to start at 8, Busy people that can’t get off the last phone call to get there, [need to] discipline themselves to be there on time.” Terry Lundgren

Tips:

  • Many companies’ meetings are taking for some people more than 60% of their time if you schedule meetings to try to schedule a max of 45min and aim for the last 15min to make a summary, conclusion, and next steps.
  • Keeping time under control to keep efficiency a visualization with the watch like the Time Timer helps the team to focus.

The fourth rule: Set up an action plan

Every meeting should end with a brief discussion on the future steps, called the meeting follow-up. Determining who is accountable for what and what the timeframes are should be part of this debate. If not, the time you spent at the meeting will have been worthless.

If you have frequent meetings with the same audience stars with the action plan of last time. On another side, The purpose of a follow-up is to ensure that all pertinent information from the meeting is emphasized. Follow-ups are typically sent through email or messaging app, with the implementation of  Smartsheet you can reduce email traffic and utilize workflow to send an automatic reminder to those who respond to update their tasks. It is important to remember that, although the organizer is in charge of following up on every detail, attendees are encouraged to make notes and action plans to avoid any snags.

The fifth and most important rule of Feedback

Never feel too shy to ask you’re colleagues, or teams for feedback about meeting efficiency, frequency, and suggestions to improve.
 

You’ll find free templates such as downloadable business action plan templates, project action plan templates, corrective action plan templates, and more via this link. 


General

If you use online conference systems such as teams or zoom it is great if the camera of everyone is switched on. Special if not everyone is in the same room try to utilize online whiteboards like Miro for workshops or even just to explain content if there are questions. 

You can get in touch with us to help you take your meetings to the next level: contact@lighthouseconsultings.de

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