Meetings. They are supposed to be the kick-starters of progress. Often, though, they end up achieving less than planned. A study published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that 71 of 182 senior managers thought of meetings as inefficient and unproductive.
A startling 63 also said meetings kept them from completing their own work.
If you are not a senior manager level you may still feel the same way. Some team members acknowledge that meetings are the most horrific moments in the workplace.
So, how do you ensure your meetings are more effective in 2020 and beyond?
Here are five tips to increase the efficiency of your meetings.
1. Note down as many details as you can in advance
A smart way to keep meetings time and agenda in check, as well as come out with desired results is to get as much relevant information as you can.
A special place to start is to note down personal details of the people you’ll be meeting, whether you meet through chance meetings or at a conference.
Nothing creates more powerful rapport and engagement than applying those personal details in a discussion or brainstorming session.
Use a tool such as the free StayTouch app (IOS and Android) to note details such as who introduced you, where you were, when, why, and what you agreed to talk about in your next meeting.
StayTouch takes video, audio, text, and photo notes so you can have complete meeting contexts and histories.
Still, you can use the app to schedule the next meeting immediately, exchange paperless contacts, and set reminders so you are better prepared and ready for another meeting.
When you have this kind of information at your fingertips, you can then easily follow through without wasting time on re-learning the context of your meetings.
2. Schedule the meeting
Many spontaneous meetings are not crisis management meetings.
So often when you engage in an unplanned meeting, you are spending time you could have used more productively and elsewhere.
And that can be costly.
A 2019 Doodle study based on 19 million meetings and 6,500 professionals showed inefficient meetings lead to losses of over $399 billion and $58 billion in the U.S. and U.K., respectively.
A whopping 44 of the professionals said poorly organized meetings left them with inadequate time to complete their work.
In turn, that harmed their productivity and increased their work-related stress.
Again, you can use a smart networking, intelligent contact management, and meetings scheduling mobile app such as StayTouch. It is a mobile app for IOS and Android. That also means you can schedule meetings on the go whenever and wherever you want.
So, grab the best meetings scheduling mobile app and schedule a specific time for one. Then stick to that script.
3. Only talk with relevant persons
The Doodle State of Meetings report showed 31 of professionals said irrelevant attendees slowed meeting progress. And that could lead to having unclear actions, which 43 said leads to confusion.
Worse, all that could lead to a full-blown poorly organized meeting—which 44 of professionals said kept them from doing their own work.
So only involve people that are hyper-relevant to the agenda of the day.
4. Keep your circle small
Closely related to only inviting relevant people to the meeting is to only host a couple of people per meeting.
The more people a meeting has, the more disorganized and unfocused to the agenda it becomes.
Fewer people will be more engaged and focused, and there will be less time going into too many perspectives to be productive.
5. Signoff with a note
The handshake is a timeless meeting closer, especially if you are meeting to make a deal or for the first few times.
When you plan to follow up with the people at the meeting, be sure to note down the personal details discussed in the beginning.
You want to make sure you know the who, what, when, where, and how of the proceedings and the people involved so you can process the information in a way that’ll help you remember precisely the context of your meeting.
Again, you can download the StayTouch app to help you make planning, scheduling, attending, remembering important meeting details for next time, and exchanging contacts with attendees much more efficient and effortless.
Over to you.