In today’s era, time is money. People have limited time, and with that, a limited attention span. This is the reason why we must aspire to be crisp and precise—without being too vague and losing our pitch in a professional conversation. Management and productive utilisation of one’s time plays such a crucial role in today’s generation that the top Delhi management institutes, the likes of IILM University, Gurugram, have even begun courses on the same.
When working as an efficient professional in the work sphere, we must know exactly how to pitch our ideas and conduct meetings for the same. Conducting productive meetings becomes more and more important as we move forward in the professional ladder. There are meetings scheduled for everything—whether it is for the ideation of a certain plan, the implementation of the approved plan, or for other work-related issues. Hence, we must be very sure of our approach in meetings, so that it has the most desirable result.
Here are 5 strategies that can help you run a more productive meeting:
- A clear objective
A meeting always has a purpose. Before making the announcement for the meeting, make sure you know exactly what you want out of it. Whether it is to alert the employees about a change in the administration or to address an issue, it is important that you start with a strong note, with precise and crisp points, rather than using vague phrases like ‘status update’.
- Importance of a schedule
Make sure you create the agenda of the meeting beforehand to avoid wasting time later. Then, prepare the timeline comprising of the time needed for each item on your list. It is always a good idea to e-mail this timeline to the people attending the meeting. This appears organised and professional. Once the meeting has commenced, it is also advisable to place the agenda on the whiteboard or the screen so that people remain focused.
- Open discussion
Though it is necessary to be focused and strict about the timeline, meetings should not seem authoritative. After all, they are a platform for people to express their views as well. Hence, it is important to get an input from people, which includes people who are shy and less likely to participate as well. A good leader is someone who does not dominate, and instead facilitates the discussion, taking in the viewpoints of his/her fellow colleagues. So, after the initial announcement, it is a good idea to allow others to speak.
The best way to make sure everyone participates and remains focused is to delegate. This also reduces the pressure on one person. In the meeting, talk about everyone’s strengths and assign duties in accordance with that. This allows the employees to build management skills, organise their ideas, and develop team-spirit. As the facilitator of the meeting, make sure that the discussion doesn’t stray off topic. Even though everyone is performing different roles and have different viewpoints, it is essential to be clear about the same goal.
- Conclude with an action plan
Always plan a meeting in such a way that the last few minutes are free to discuss the way ahead. This is perhaps the most important part of a meeting. This is the time when the meeting is concluded, and solutions are sought. During this time, viewpoints of everyone should be considered, duties assigned should be revised, and the deadlines should be reinstated. If the meeting was regarding an issue, this is the time when a solution is decided, and subsequently implemented.
Running effective meetings is a skill—a skill everyone must hone. No wonder, all the top management colleges focus so much on teamwork, management skills and coordination! It is to prepare the young professionals for what lies ahead.