If you feel like work meetings are taking up all of your time, it’s because they are. MIT conducted an in-depth study on meetings and discovered that senior managers spend an average of 23 hours a week in meetings. Yikes.
Thankfully, there is a better way! We’ve compiled 6 easy steps you can implement with your team to successfully run a meeting and get your time back once and for all:
1. Start Off Strong
How often do you begin your meetings with casual small talk to build team morale? It may seem unimportant, but this helps set the tone of the meeting and encourage maximum engagement. Set aside a few minutes at the beginning of every meeting for casual small talk as a way to spread positivity, boost everyone’s mood, and encourage engagement.
2. Set A Clear Intention
Before you get too deep into the meeting, make sure everyone is clear on the purpose and desired outcome of the meeting. Share an agenda with everyone (before the meeting, if possible) to avoid distractions. This is a simple action you can take to ensure your meetings are efficient and productive. The last thing you want is to go down a rabbit hole that drags a 30-minute meeting into an hour-long meeting.
3. Leaders Speak Last
Another way to maximize efficiency in your meetings is to allow others to speak before you. Not only will you gain amazing insight into your employees’ perspectives, but you’ll foster trust and engagement within your team.
4. Listen Actively
Believe it or not, active listening is not a skill mastered by many leaders. Many simple issues that arise within meetings could be avoided by increasing the quality of communication. Pay attention to the body language and tone of voice of each individual that speaks. If communication as a leader is challenging for you, we have a course for that. Time-wasting conflicts can easily be avoided by this simple act of listening.
5. Share and Ask for Feedback
After letting everyone speak, don’t be quiet about what you have to say and your opinion. As a leader or manager, it’s normal that people will look to you for guidance and suggestions. Share your thoughts, but don’t forget to ask for feedback. After this exchange, come to a conclusion about the matter at hand that creates a win-win situation for everyone.
6. Set Clear Outcomes
Finally, before you wrap up the meeting, summarize the discussion and make sure everyone is clear on the next steps. This will help your team avoid miscommunication or any setbacks. Acknowledge and celebrate the progress that was made so the team can walk away from the meeting with positive energy. And don’t forget to celebrate the efficient meeting you had and the time you got back!