For every meeting to have a productive and successful outcome, it is important to follow some specific rules, which were proven over time. They are the right instruments to use and are a true ticket to success. So let’s find out what makes a productive meeting!
Tip#1: Get Prepared
The first prerequisite of a successful meeting is the preparation. Almost nothing had been done perfectly without preparations. So a couple of days before the important meeting, get together with your colleagues for 30 minutes and discuss what are the most important issues to tackle and how much time will each one of them require. Prepare agenda and send it in advance to all attendees of the upcoming meeting, so they have the time to prepare.
Tip#2: Allow Transit Time
Make sure you have included the transit time into your agenda. You don’t want anyone to be late for the meeting, do you?
Tip#3: Limit the Number of Attendees
According to the priorities of the meeting, define what people should attend it. Don’t send the meeting invitation to every other person just to gather as many people as you can. On the contrary, it is important that the decision makers in this specific issue are present, as well as the experts of the field. The best number of people attending the meeting is from five to seven people. If there are more than that, some participants will just become spectators.
Tip#4: Take It Under Control
Many people, many minds. As well as many thoughts, opinions, and considerations. There might be those who get too involved in the discussions forgetting about the limits in time. So it is your task to manage the situation and to take every step of the meeting under your own control. Don’t be afraid to interrupt and to remind the speaker he/she is left 5 more minutes to defend their opinion. Do not hesitate to move on to the next question in agenda.
Tip#5: Set the Right Tone
Be aware of your body language first. Sometimes what we say doesn’t have as much impact as for how we do this. Notice what pose you strike, whether you show you are an attentive listener or you are leaning back showing your impatience to leave the meeting. The speaker will take it as an offense and the negotiations might have not the best outcome.
Tip#6: Create a No-Smartphones Zone
The White House is already doing this and so it’s your turn to try as well. Newest technology has taken humans so far that they often forget where they are, what they do and what the purpose of their presence at the meeting is. They might just surf the Internet or chat in social networks. To avoid this and to make everyone “included”, ask everyone to put their devices in the basket and give them back after the meeting ends.
Tip#7: Outline Outcomes And Define Next Steps
It is important to speak out the outcomes of the meeting and what exactly the attendees agreed on. It is also crucial for the negotiations to go on successfully, to define next steps, deadlines, and individual responsibilities. In case the meeting uncovered items that need to be further explored, set up a time for a follow-up discussion.