Contributed by SocialMonsters.org
Managing a team can be exciting, challenging work, but nothing can slow your leadership down like a marathon meeting. Inefficient meetings can feel like a huge waste of time, especially when you leave the table with little to show beyond the cost of gathering your top people in one room. To get the most bang for your meeting buck, focus on lean, solution-oriented meetings designed to engage and focus everyone in the room. So here are three ways to spice those marathon meeting up.
Concision is Key
One of the most important decisions to make when planning a meeting is pacing. How long will it take you to cover the material? How much time does your team need to present new information, discuss solutions and plan for next steps? Ask yourself a series of questions to first decide if a meeting is the right way to go. Think critically about your goals and only call a meeting if it’s truly imperative to gather everyone at the table. Then, schedule a meeting with a clear purpose, agenda and time allotment. Delegate someone to keep track of time. Working to an agreed upon deadline can give your professional gathering the sense of urgency it needs to energize your team and get results.
Involve Everyone, Demand Focus
When calling a meeting, be clear about who you want in the room, and what roles you expect everyone to play. Give your meeting attendees some prep work before the meeting so that they feel accountable to share information and collaborate on solutions. By assigning clear roles and expectations, you’ll avoid the common situation where half the room is nodding out and the other half is scrambling to handle the majority of the work. Involve everyone, and you’ll effectively avoid two of the most common concentration killers as reported by WebMD.com: multitasking and boredom. The benefits of delegation will boost your productivity beyond meetings as well. According to Bob Parsons, founder of the mega web hosting and domain registration site, GoDaddy.com, it’s important that your team knows how to handle their responsibilities in order to free up your time for in the moment challenges and key conversations that may arise. It also will build your team’s resiliency and independence so that they can still function smoothly if you’re pulled away to an offsite project.
Focus on Solutions
Bringing together a group of coworkers when stress is high and deadlines are tight can invite a lot of negativity and complaining. Head this mindset off at the pass by keeping your meeting focused on identifying problems by sharing viewpoints and coming up with realistic solutions. Clearly state desired goals and outcomes, then weigh several different options to figure out the best plan of action. This approach invites the feedback of many different viewpoints, but still focuses all participants on the next steps: what do we want to see happen and, more importantly, how will we get there together?
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