Five Ways to Get Your Work Meetings Are Truly Effective (And Not a Loss of Time)

We are sure that you know what we mean: that feeling of impotence that invades you when a meeting is extended hours and hours (until more or less lose the will to live), but which does not advance in the main theme.

Is there any way to get something clear, settle and move forward with our business objectives in the meetings? We have talked with experts and These are the keys that have given us so that your meetings are not a black hole of lost time.

We have assumed that the meetings are part of the way of working of the 21st century, it is of a tool that well used can help all employees to improve the projects in which they are involved: “since I joined the working world always I have believed that labour is abused and is usually done very bad use of them”, says Sonia R. Muriel, Director of HR and author of a prestigious blog that specializes in managing people. “Who does not has felt laziness when they have asked to attend a meeting to which knows that it will not be useful? Or has had many things to do and has been trapped in an endless meeting that has rambled on multiple topics without anything concrete?”

It is inevitable to wonder What is the main ruling whereby the working meetings are a waste of time and no effective tool which should be. To answer this question we had Eva Cantavella, a professional training in HR-communication and specialized in conducting meetings, co-author of the book effective meetings and blog.

In his view, the main problem is “the lack of mirror. Seriously”, says,”responsible for the meetings rarely challenge themselves. Most believe that if the meeting was not productive, blame it on others. (they don’t want to listen, they don’t want to understand, they don’t want to participate, have come unprepared, then don’t do anything…). We believe that one learns from mistakes, but is an incomplete sentence. One learns of the objective analysis of errors and many policymakers meeting do not.”

But the first thing that must be done It is rid of its bad reputation and trying to pump up one reaction more positive, so that employees do not see it as one punishment rather than as an opportunity to improve. According to recent studies Joseph A. Allen and Steven G. Rogelberg a well led session doesn’t have to be a drag on productivity (or a slab that crush our morale) but an incentive to involve employees actively, be involved and feel more engaged with what you do. In summary: you will be more in the projects and the company will gain greater return on your investment. “The meetings are necessary, but it is very important to know how effective meetings convened for not wasting our valuable time and others,” explains Sonia R. Muriel.

What is the first step to get to be more productive?

For our effective meetings expert, Eva Cantavella, the first step is to review the preparation: “that means not just prepare what will I say to look me and you all think”good Communicator am”, but ask yourself good questions, starting with the most relevant”:

1 do I really need a meeting to “this”?

2 what they need to know others in order to better prepare their contributions?

3 who is key and who only “decorated”? (the extra should only be in the films)

4 how long should that meeting last really?

5 What can I find?

Once in the meeting, for Eva the key is the waist: “I do not mean inches that I would like to decrease, but the flexibility and techniques required to manage egos, unexpected, conflicts, divergent interests, critical, delicate questions…”

And finally, the step that investment of time is to be effective is compelled to draw clear conclusions: “it is not the same that a meeting is finished to the end of it.” And, of course, reminds us of Eva Cantavella, have clear qEU is not the same prepare a meeting that a presentation.

Surely you’ll be nodding his head while you read all this. And at the same time you think: “Yes, but how can I do to get my meetings are not a burden and motivate staff rather than become a Brown for me and for my colleagues?”

1.-follow the rule of “less is more” (and maximum five)

Invite more people to the meeting It also means open door to more voices, more distraction and more interruptions. The more people at the meeting, less likely to focus on the issue that you have come to meet.

In this article about meetings in LinkedIn, recommended to carefully consider who you invite to the meeting: “If you are going to invite more than ten people to your meeting, may be a sign of vagueria. Think of your meetings as VIP events. It limits your invitations to those professionals who are vital to treat the topic that interests you. “And as a rule: try to be five people or less still”.

Our expert Sonia R. Muriel also agrees with this point: “not you convoques right and left, do it with head and really thinking about people who should be present.” If you are going to call someone as a listener, it is likely that its presence is not necessary, save you time investment.”

2 prohibit the technological gadgets of all kinds.

He has left so many times in the press that no longer makes us grace: important figures of public life very distracted because of the Candy Crash or any little game of its tablets or mobile.

And it seems to be that when someone brings a gadget to a meeting, will end up doing anything (consult their shares in stock market, looking at his brother-in-law Instagram, walking through a store online or play to exploit jellybeans of colour) while you enter and sales from the main conversation, which in the end It will mean that you have only spent 50% of your attention to what it was.

If you are in a meeting with six or seven people and more than half are looking at your phone, your computer or your tablet, take it: these people are not at the meeting, their heads are in other things and will not contribute absolutely nothing. “Some companies in mobile phones and other devices are removed attendees before entering the meeting room. It’s a good philosophy because you ensure that they do not deviate attention to other issues outside the meeting and will want to finish soon to check mails and messages”, explains our expert in human resources.

It can remind us of the time of school, but forcing everyone to leave electronic gadgets at the door of the room can help improve communication among attendees, the meeting is interrupted less, be short and concise. “Whenever a phone sounds or sounds an alert to read a mail or a message, should stop the meeting and return to the issue after a few seconds, which is counterproductive to the ideas, delays progress, does losing concentration, etc.”

Eva Cantavella, an expert in optimization of meetings, clarifies that need to make a distinction: “I would separate, on the one hand the mobiles, which would not prohibit (already the word invites rebound…)” “but if you make the rhetorical question that invites you to not use them ‘do to avoid distortions, you think if we put phone in airplane mode and us in participatory mode?’.”

Ban computers or tablets, in the view of Eva, is to go against progress since more and more, the participants take note through these tools. It is best to ensure the proper use of the same.

3. assign a leader and assign specific tasks

Is not that someone has the last word, but that lead the discussion, try that the rest of the participants will not by the hills of Ubeda, forward the conversation and is in charge of identifying valid ideas or intercept that do not lead anywhere and time-wasting. To Sonia, it is necessary that “who convened the meeting, direct it and check the times. “As well as the tone, and if on occasion was tense, relaxing environment”. But he also stressed the importance of that leader to watch “begin meeting in a timely manner. Out of respect to those who are punctual and to create culture of punctuality in the company.”

The leader It will take note of everything that is relevant and the contributions of each Member of the team, so don’t miss critical information. You can also control that no one is distracted, be punctual and assign tasks following the conclusions. And as notes Sonia: “do not allow return points already treated during the meeting.”

Another option is to assign specific and individual tasks. At Apple, for example, have a system very curious to take advantage of the meetings: they divide tasks and each is directly assigned to an employee. Make the person responsible for this unique task is the way that becomes truly responsible to have it done before the next meeting. Something that works much better to those same tasks to groups, in which people can more easily extricate.

And of course, as noted by Sonia, it is fundamental remind participants that it is necessary to attend the meeting with the worked material and prepared.

4 Remove seats

Would be the sea of fun to eliminate seats and have everyone playing the game of the Chair during the meeting, but what we suggest experts goes far beyond: no feeling at all. Spend too much time standing is uncomfortable for everyone and the formula to achieve that having to expose an issue do so as soon as possible, with the minimum of rodeos and circumlocutions. Standing helps you get more to the point and not waste time by referring to your notes again and again or wasting your time looking at your smartphone.

It is brief and concise meetings, with several members of the team forming a circle to deal with to be treated quickly. And as says Sonia, this also allows us to convene a meeting only when necessary, Sometimes the most meetings do not serve to achieve the objective.

5. put a time limit

And if it is necessary to make people shut up when you arrive at that time. Or remove them from the room. Set a time limit to finish and be faithful to it is one of the ways of forcing those attending the meeting are used to fund to resolve the issues to try and not lose time. The important thing is “to close with a brief review of the Treaty and the tasks assigned if there are any”, as says Sonia R. Muriel.

On the other hand, if everyone in your work knows that you organize meetings in which one enters and exits punctual, they will be delighted to assist and participate with their proposals. Because you won’t let them lose time, because they know that their time is valued.

Photos | The Office, How to lose a guy in 10 days

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