We’ve all been to meetings like this. Ho Hum! Get moving! I’ve got better things to do! How much longer is this meeting going to go??? Take charge of the meetings you run – and make them run for you. The team here at Online Sales Pro uses techniques to keep meetings brief, to the point, and action-based. This helps us remain productive and efficient when building out new features for the Online Sales Pro system and mobile app. Here’s how.
Stick to the Agenda
Create an agenda with enough time for each item – but not too much time. Add the amount of time to the agenda to be spent for each item and stick to that. If more time is needed, opt to reconvene at a later date. Too many meetings go on and on and on and get stuck on one item, either extending the meeting way past the plan or never getting to what else needs to be decided. A quick tally at the start of a meeting should reflect on the status of previous action items, asking for updates. At the end, a review of what needs to be done before the next meeting is essential. The agenda might be the most important part of keeping a meeting energized and successful.
Set the Rules
Sometimes a discussion gets impassioned and people around the table forget to mind their manners. Others must have their say – and no one should be interrupted. If someone is taking too much time, instead of charging in, throwing the meeting off kilter, the one who called the meeting should politely ask the one talking to wrap things up so others can speak. Also, participants should be asked not to use the word YOU. Instead, they should claim the word “I” and explain things from their vantage point without finger-pointing and surly sarcasm, character assassination, or vicious venom. Everyone around the table should be reminded that all goes better with smiles and pleasantness. After all, most discussion topics are not a matter of life or death.
Keep Careful Notes
Someone should be tasked to be the note taker. What happens at meetings needs to be carefully written down, allowing us in the future to see what happened in the past. What decisions were made? What issues were unresolved? What still needs to be done? By whom And how? It’s a grueling task, but it must be done. Perhaps this task needs to be done by someone who is not a decision-maker – someone who is not revved up and ready to speak – a faithful scribe.
A chief complaint about meetings is that nothing is done afterwards. People need to be charged to do what it takes and then report back at the next meeting. A date should be provided so that these tasks are completed in good time. Then those who accomplish these tasks ought to be recognized and thanked when all is done well. Gratitude has a way of influencing attitude. By following up, those in attendance really feel as though meetings serve their purpose.
Meetings can be a super time suck. That’s why it is essential that we learn how to run meetings productively and efficiently. We can actually carve out more time in our work days when we keep to a meeting schedule and move forward to get things done. Now that we’ve taken the ho-hum out of meetings, want to put some zip and zest into your business endeavors? Join us at Online Sales Pro today and learn how to add the same spit and polish to your business ventures.