Five Simple Steps to Increasing Meeting Productivity
Have you ever felt like you were losing control of a meeting? According to some of my friends in the corporate world, they feel like this all the time. Tasked with running important meetings, when there are too many strong personalities participating, they can feel as if the floor is falling out beneath them. I imagine that meetings in the health care field aren’t much different. Most likely, each meeting is attended by a number of different professionals with varying graduate degrees and egos to match. In this blog post, I will take a look at how to increase the productivity of your meetings.
An article written by PC Mag contributor Jill Duffy outlines a few tips for increasing meeting productivity. First, we need to understand what kind of meeting that you intend to hold and then organize yourself and prepare for it accordingly. According to Ms. Duffy, there are four different kinds of meetings: Informational, Discussion/Collaboration, Check-in, and Working meetings. Most of the meetings that I have been attending lately are either check-in or discussion/collaboration meetings.
Discussion/collaboration meetings are otherwise known as brainstorming meetings. In this kind of meeting, one or more of the parties involved might work on the agenda. Information is meant to come from multiple people. Check-in meetings are regularly scheduled, usually around a particular project, which could be ongoing or have an anticipated completion date. While managing my project, we have weekly check-in meetings to make sure that all involved parties are kept up to date on problems, solutions, changes, and progress. One of the things I like most about these meetings is that they’re often very short.
Ms. Duffy continues in her article outlining five different ways to make meetings more productive. First, schedule quickly. If meetings are scheduled too far out, there is a chance that any pertinent information will no longer be fresh in your mind. Second, use a clear subject line. Ms. Duffy claims that having a clear subject line is key to everyone’s productivity. The subject line should indicate in a few words the general purpose of the meeting. It can also help parties know what they need to prepare for. Third, have an agenda or goals. Every meeting should have an agenda or list of goals. The complexity of the meeting will help to determine whether or not the agenda will be explicit or implicitly stated in the subject line. Fourth, define the meeting leader. Some of the worst meetings have no clear leader. These meetings can often become extremely unproductive. Fifth, lose the technology, but do the demo. Before you waste your time creating a PowerPoint deck, ask yourself whether or not one is truly needed. If so, remember that slides should be used to keep people engaged and reinforce your points – not make them for you.
Please try any of these tips in your next meeting!