Meetings are funny. They rely on an understanding of their purpose and are generally organized with the intention of benefiting those in attendance. Ironically though, the success of a group meeting heavily depends on the individual attendees. Take for example meetings in Western culture: these are usually run with efficiency in mind, and therefore, a big focus is on punctuality. In contrast, South American or Southeast Asian cultures place less emphasis on this, and in some places, being an hour late to meetings or appointments would be common, with neither parties being bothered too much by this.
We will look at three different ways you could improve the running of you meetings:
Is it really any surprise that technology should be considered to improve the efficiency and quality of your meetings? I challenge you to identify something that advances in technology have not improved. Meetings are no exception.
Take for example meeting management software created by companies such as Pronestor. Installing their hardware and software in your meeting areas not only gives them a more professional look, but also significantly improves the whole meeting experience. No longer will you have meeting attendees running around the building searching for the meeting room. Now, digital signage and integration into Microsoft and Google applications allow for seamless use wherever you are.
Set an agenda beforehand
How can you expect a meeting to go smoothly if the attendees are not aware of the topics to be discussed? By sending out a proper agenda beforehand, participants will have more time to prepare, which in turn will help them make more valuable contribution.
Topics for discussion can be prioritized, and therefore, the time allotted for each topic can be set accordingly. During meetings, much time is wasted when participants are not aware of what is being discussed and why. Setting an agenda is one way of helping you use the time effectively. Meetings should not be the time when topics are raised for discussion, but rather the time that topics defined beforehand are discussed.
Keep the number of participants to a minimum
As the saying goes, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” Well, most of the time, this rings true for meetings. Sure, it is useful having new fresh ideas and opinions thrown into the mix; however, you risk going off on a tangent and failing to meet the objectives of the meeting.
Only those whose presence is required should be in attendance, and those attending should also bear in mind that there is an agenda that must be stuck to. It is important that the person leading the meeting is able to manage this. By having less people in a meeting, topics can be discussed and decisions can be made more quickly, improving the efficiency of the meeting.