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Work Smarter with Better Team Meetings

Work Smarter with Better Team Meetings

Meetings are a necessary part of any business – but too often, they become bogged down in small talk and wasted time. There’s no doubt that many productive hours have been lost to them. It’s a must that your team should work smarter, be involved in the discussions, and give their best ideas.

But if you’re clever about your meetings, you can get more done in less time. Here are eight tips for more productive (and enjoyable!) team meetings that feel less like a chore and more like a collaborative effort towards exciting business growth.

WORK SMARTER PRE-MEETING

The work for a productive team meeting starts before the meeting. Set yourself up for success with these quick actions.

Let everyone know the topics in advance.

There’s nothing worse than being put on the spot. Tell people in advance if you need ideas, feedback, numbers, or information from projects. That way, they’ll come to the meeting prepared, so you save time. 

It’s also helpful to let your team know how long this meeting will run so they can organise their work around it.

Create a running order.

Once you’ve decided what needs to be discussed and who should attend, creating a running order is next. Its purpose is to ensure you cover all the necessary points of the meeting, prevent repetition, and keep the meeting moving, so everyone stays focused.

If it’s a particularly long meeting, knowing the running order will allow some team members to join later or leave earlier, depending on when they’re needed, to make the most of their time.

Avoid long-winded emails

It can be incredibly time-consuming to write a long, drawn-out email covering everything that needs to be said. It’s even more frustrating when you send an email, and your recipient responds with another lengthy message of their own. That’s what the meeting is for!

Keep it as short as possible, and use straightforward language to avoid confusion.

WORK SMARTER DURING THE MEETING

Start on time

You’ve probably heard this one before: start on time. It’s simple, but you’d be surprised by how much impact it can have.

If someone arrives late, it shows disrespect for others’ time—and if it happens regularly, it will quickly become an issue with the team itself. It can lead to resentment toward a colleague without respect for their appointments.

Keep to the planned duration

When you have a clearly-defined time frame and keep to it, you will achieve one of the most important goals of any meeting: keeping everyone’s attention.

If a meeting runs over its planned duration, people will lose interest in what they hear and start thinking about other things (such as what they could be doing instead). If your meetings usually run over, try appointing a meeting chair whose job is to keep the running order and reduce the number of topics for discussion.

Allow each attendee to speak freely and without interruption.

While you should be mindful of time, it’s essential that your team feel heard. Your business should be more than a transaction of working hours for a wage. And you want your team to turn up daily with a drive to be better than the day before.

They will only do that if they feel their feedback and ideas are valued. So allow each attendee to speak freely and without interruption. Over time, this will encourage those less likely to share their thoughts (for fear of being shut down or judged) to be active participants.

And that leads us to our next tip.

Encourage debate, but not disagreement.

A good team meeting will have a healthy amount of debate. The difference between debate and disagreement is that in a debate, you’re working together towards a solution. In disagreement, one person is correct, and the other is wrong.

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A good team meeting will empower everyone to make changes based on what they’ve learned there. You want your colleagues to leave feeling like they can take action on the things they discussed during the meeting so that progress can continue beyond its conclusion.

Always finish with action points and assign someone to be responsible for them.

If you only action one of the tips from this blog – make it this one!

With action points, the time and effort put into the meeting were well-spent. You and your team will have a fruitful conversation and agree on what will be done and who will do it.

Only conclude the meeting after deciding what action points are needed, who will do them, and when. It ensures everyone understands what’s expected of them, in what time frame, and to what quality level.

Discussing and assigning action points as a team is a great way to keep everyone accountable.

Effective communication and teamwork

Good teamwork and effective communication are the foundations of building significant processes that will grow your business in the right direction.

To grow your business, you need a team of people working together as one unit. It can only happen by having good teamwork skills and communication abilities.

Next, you need the right processes so that all your employees know their roles in helping build your company into a thriving entity. With methods, there would be clarity about who does what and when they should do things. It leads to losing time and money on projects, even though you’re always busy.

Finally, everyone must know which direction they’re going and how they’ll get there – this is how we define purposeful work! With clarity around why we’re doing something, no matter how hard everyone works on tasks or projects, they will feel fulfilled. They won’t feel like their efforts matter beyond just getting paid by someone who cares more about results than well-being.

While organising your team meetings may seem like much work, the benefits are worth it and can be realised almost immediately. If you’re having trouble getting started, start small and build from there. For example, start with just being on time for every meeting and keep them short with an agenda for each one.

Building sustainable habits around team meetings will be a work in progress, a process that takes time and effort.

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