Surprisingly, office meetings are always long. You hardly ever hear of anyone complaining that the meetings were too short.
Every company has its own culture when it comes to meetings and how they are conducted. The general sentiments surrounding office meetings however make them appear boring and ineffective.
But why should it be this way? Is there an alternative to making meetings productive?
The fact remains that every meeting usually has an agenda that is communicated either before or during the meeting.
What makes meetings seem like they are ‘going nowhere’ has to do with the set up and the premise for which these meetings are held and how the content is passed on.
Below are some reasons behind the failure of company meetings.
Objectives Aren’t Clear
Every meeting started must have clear objectives.
Lack of tangible and well-structured objectives not only wastes time but also confuse the attendees who may be left to guess what the meeting is all about. Be sure of what you are trying to achieve by holding the meeting and bring that objective out clearly.
To help you on this, a pre-meeting review and rehearsal would be appropriate just to ensure that the agenda is in order and the points are well arranged, this enhances and streamlines the objectives of the meetings. Unless you convince yourself, you may not be able to convince the rest of the attendees.
Unregulated Number of Attendees
Before holding any meeting, the number of people to attend these meetings needs to be checked and ascertained.
Not everyone should attend the office meetings. In fact that is one of the reasons that make these meetings fail in making an impact. The more the people attending the meeting, the higher the likelihood that such a meeting will consume so much time compared to the set time limits.
Instead of each person attending the meeting, only a few should be picked and the rest served with a brief summary of the discussions later on.
A meeting is ‘elastic’ in nature; it tends to stretch out to fill whatever time it has been allocated.
Meetings which take longer than necessary tend to eat into the company’s time and still end up being counterproductive. Part of the time allocated will normally be used for conversations that are not even company related or if they are then not on the agenda.
To make such meetings successful, you can reduce the time so that only the relevant things get time to be discussed.
The ‘Latecomer’ Factor
Meetings tend to spend too much time on arrivals. Late arrivals in particular can waste time for the entire group.
The solution to this is to start the meeting on time so that latecomers will find ways to catch up on their own. People will soon shape up and arrive in time because latecomers are embarrassed walking in when others are embroiled in deep discussions. This will save time for the whole group and the meeting will achieve its purpose.
Conducting Sitting Instead Of Stand-Up Meetings
Research shows that stand-up meetings take lesser time that those where people are seated.
This is because stand-up meetings tend to make people less comfortable, meaning decisions are arrived faster, deliberations made in record times and only pertinent issues get airtime. So far these meetings have been ranked among those that are productive and efficient.
Remember time saved in the course of a meeting is always equated to productive time given back to the company.
Discuss more with less time; you will find meetings meaningful and effective.
Photo credit: imlworldwide.com
About the Author: Tina Samuels writes on how to be first on Google, social media, marketing, and other business topics.