3 Tips For Having Meetings with Meaning

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I hate meetings. But in the world of business, nothing gets done well without proper coordination. Smaller businesses usually have less moving parts and are better at pulling a project together at speed, but even in a small team there can be challenges with moving in unison. And thus, the need for a meeting remains.

But whatever industry you’re in, if you’re the little guy, you’ve got to move fast and be diligent to make things work and rise above the masses. And no doubt you‘ve got other commitments too, so any time you can save makes the process of doing things by yourself so much more manageable. You heard it all before, ‘time is money, time is of the essence, time waits for no man…’. Meetings take up lots of time you might not have.

So as I was saying — I hate meetings. They are often way too long and worst than that, if you run a small business with friends, family or anyone know well, you’re likely to veer off topic and end up in the same room weeks later discussing the same thing all over again. Don’t get me wrong, I love being part of a team and I’m a real people person, but I’ve had my fair share of useless meetings and I’ve made a vow never to suffer one again for as long as I can help it.

That seems like a hard promise to keep when you’re not always in charge, but I’ve come up with tips help make sure we all have fruitful, more meaningful meetings. And if you remember to use these tips, you may find your meetings getting much shorter too!

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1. Be on time and ready to listen

This seems a little unnecessary, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The number one killer of progress in meetings is not starting on time. And listening is ridiculously obvious but so rarely done. How many meetings have you been in where something has to be repeated again because of late comers or people that weren’t listening the first time? If you come to a meeting with your phone on silent, facing the speaker and ready to take notes on what’s being said, you’re far less likely to miss vital points, or annoy anyone by saying “sorry, I missed that.

2. Leave with things to act on

Meetings are useless if you can’t act on them. Be sure there are clear decisions being made, notes being taken, actions/tasks being allocated, and everyone is clear on who will be doing what and by when. The worst thing you can do is decide what needs doing and forget who’s doing it. Accountability is a vital ingredient for project planning.

3. Treat it like its yours

You’re having this meeting for a reason right? So plan an agenda ahead of time whether you’re running it or not. Consider the subjects you’ll need to cover, questions you and others might have, any potential issues that may become a factor — and write them all down. Try to list them in order of importance. Your plan may include something that would otherwise been overlooked, and if you all come with your own agenda, you’ll be less likely to have left anything out. Where appropriate, send your proposed agenda out ahead of time so everyone is prepared and the individual agendas can be combined beforehand.

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Just these three things have made my meetings more beneficial and most have been less than twenty minutes long! For more helpful advice and support in building and growing your small business, get in touch today at do-moredigital.co.uk.