- Make an agenda – What is the purpose for the meeting? What is the intended goal or outcome for the meeting? Plan your agenda with the desired outcome in mind, it will bring clarity and purpose to the discussion.
- Invite the right people to attend – Productive meetings require an exchange of ideas, thoughts and opinions. Good meetings also call for progress to be made and clear next steps defined. Do you have the right influencers, collaborators and decision-makers sitting around the table?
- Come prepared for the discussion – Do you have the data you need to further the discussion? Did you bring background information to share? Whatever the meeting, it won’t be productive if everyone just sits there staring at each other. Bring all the relevant information you need so everyone is informed and can proceed to a next step.
- Limit the number of topics per meeting – People get overwhelmed, they lose interest and the general attention span for people is getting shorter. You don’t want to rush through your topics so plan accordingly. What’s most important and time sensitive. Are there deadlines to be met? Prioritize and be careful not to throw everything into one meeting.
- Be clear on next steps – What needs to happen after the meeting? Was it clear who is responsible for what? Did someone capture the notes and discussion? What is the time frame for completion of tasks from this meeting, is everyone on the same page?
Five Tips for More Productive Meetings