For most business owners, it seems that there is never enough time. You have a million things on your to-do list, plus more just waiting to be added. So the thought of a long, unproductive meeting where nothing gets accomplished is about as appealing as a trip to the dentist for a root canal.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. (The meeting, not the dental work.) Although meetings, in general, have a bad reputation, they are necessary to complete projects and communicate with your team.
If properly managed, team meetings can actually increase productivity despite the time they may take. As Dave teaches in EntreLeadership Master Series, there are a number of simple ways to keep your meetings on track and worthwhile. Here are a few.
Stick to an Agenda
If your team members truly like each other and enjoy spending time together, that’s awesome. You’re well on your way to building a company where people love to work. But when it comes to a meeting, maybe not so much.
When Dave first started his leadership meetings, he and his other key leaders spent the majority of the time hanging out. Not much was being accomplished. When they realized it, they set an agenda, prepared for it, and stuck to it. The agenda can be changed up to an hour before the meeting, but once it’s set, it’s set. That format is still being used today and is incredibly productive.
Set a Time Limit
Have you ever been in a meeting that just goes on and on, taking twice as long as necessary? We all have, which is why it’s a great idea to set a time limit. Then if the session gets off track or someone feels the need to endlessly talk about a situation, you can remind everyone that time is limited. If an issue isn’t resolved, assign someone to work on it and report back by a certain date, and then move on.
Don’t tell your mamma we’re recommending this one because, yeah, it’s kind of rude. But if team members aren’t picking up verbal cues that a meeting is over, simply stand up. If that doesn’t work, head toward the door. We guarantee that everyone, and we mean everyone, will figure it out when you are gone.
Hit the Road, Jack
Want to pump up your team’s creativity? Try different locations for meetings. At Dave’s company, leaders may meet with their team in the company’s coffee shop or outside if it is a beautiful day. For brainstorming sessions, bust loose and go off-site to get the ideas flowing.
By sticking to these simple ideas, meetings can go from being a necessary evil to a great way to become more productive and communicate with your team. Everyone will soon look forward to attending them instead of finding excuses to avoid them, making everyone much happier and well informed.
Share your best tip for running a meeting.