How to Transform Time-Wasting Meetings

December 15, 2015

Career Advice

2630713127_09d09f8a99_zThey seem like such a time suck, but sometimes meetings can’t be avoided. You dread them because there is a certain cast of characters that will show up every time. You’re already ready to cut them off, shut them up, or even make them open up. In some ways, office meetings can be similar to showing up to a family holiday dinner: exhausting but mandatory.

There’s got to be some way to cut through that feeling of dread that wells up in your stomach in the half hour before the meeting begins. Here are some ways you can change the meeting format so you head into it feeling charged up and come out of it feeling a sense of accomplishment and direction.

Pre-meeting recon. It’s very likely there are topics and issues that could be dealt with outside of a larger meeting. Have one-on-ones before the meeting or e-mail certain team members to reduce the agenda items.

Set parameters. Having a set of rules going into your meeting can do wonders for productivity. For example: no interrupting, everyone gets a chance to speak, etc. Immediately, the naysayers and the debaters don’t have a platform.

Establish a facilitator. A facilitator manages the parameters set above. It’s best if this is an objective person who is not involved in the agenda items. Each meeting should also have a leader who tracks time as well as monitoring and managing the conversations by making sure people are heard and that the participants stay on task and move toward the goal.

Agenda, Agenda, Agenda. Have one ready to go and if possible, e-mail it to members before the meeting so items can be added or removed beforehand.

Vocalize the meeting’s goal. Having a clearly established goal will help all parties know the reason for this meeting. (It’s not a group time-waster!) A goal also keeps everyone accountable for their part in the meeting.

Limit invitees. Only invite those who need to be involved. Most people would prefer to resolve typical meeting agenda items outside of a meeting if at all possible. Give them what they wish!

Image via Office Now/Flickr

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About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

View all posts by Spectrum Brands Careers

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