How to have productive meetings?
Leaving the team aware of the goals and within what is expected of them can guarantee a high commitment of the collaborators
The moment to gather the team for discussion or exchange of ideas is a habit that can be very useful for the organization, regardless of the company’s area of activity. This is because letting the team know about the goals and what is expected of them can guarantee a high level of commitment from the employees.
However, in many organizations, meetings are still considered a waste of time, as they do not have the desired result by the management team. Surely you must identify with this: a meeting that takes hours of the day and at the end the question: after all, what was the purpose of it?
It is important to point out that, like any organizational program, it is necessary that productive meetings become a habit. The thought that “to have good meetings, we need bad meetings” is wrong. This thought conforms to unproductivity, and is quite harmful when we think about results in the organization.
Understanding meetings as a habit avoids the so-called “unloading meetings”, in which the team is called only when a serious problem occurs. This type of meeting causes little adhesion and can have harmful consequences for the organization, such as the team’s disunity in the search for blame, for example.
So what should you consider to have a good meeting? Below, we’ll talk about some things to consider to have productive meetings in your company.
The first consideration about meetings that can be a good motivator for learning how to run effective meetings is cost. It is expensive for an organization to waste time on debates that have no effective result. The cost in this case can be in two ways: in the emotional and motivational exhaustion of the participants and in the so-called opportunity cost, which refers to the activities that could be effectively being carried out instead of having a meeting without a purpose.
On the other hand, an effective meeting brings numerous benefits. Among the main ones are help in decision-making, motivation and strengthening of commitment bonds, obtaining feedback and pointing out changes, whether in behavior or operations. It is also a time to reconcile conflicts and promote problem analysis by the entire team. This generates a sense of working around the same objective, which leads us to one of the main points of the meeting, which we will talk about in the next topic.
The agenda is one of the most important points of the meeting, as it defines what must be addressed and what is expected of the team at the end of the meeting. It should define the subjects to be discussed and the problems to be solved with the help of the team. It is important to avoid using the meeting space with negative individual feedback, which can demotivate participants. Positive feedback at this time, however, can have a good effect among employees.
A habit that reinforces the usefulness of the agenda is to present each of the topics to be discussed at the beginning of the meeting, if possible, placed on a board for better visualization. In this way, the team is encouraged to think individually about each of the things presented and give their opinion to solve the problem or achieve the proposed objective.
It is essential that agenda topics are specific and attainable. For example: instead of talking about reducing operating costs, you can talk about reducing x% of the time to perform a certain task. This causes a sense of usefulness in the topic, demonstrating that it is possible to achieve the proposed objectives through real measures in everyday life.
Meeting planning is often confused with the agenda, but they have key differences. While the agenda refers to the topics to be discussed, the planning refers to the people who will participate in the meeting and the time spent on this activity. Here, the meeting time should also be borne in mind: Is it more interesting to meet at the beginning of the day, with the team rested? Or at the end of the day, with the possibility of exemplifying the agenda during the working day?
It is also important that the time planning is not unusable, and should be followed as proposed. Meetings should have a start and end time, and punctuality should be encouraged for all participants. The habit of punctuality at the meeting can be decisive for the effectiveness of the meeting.
Conclusion of the meeting
The conclusion of the meeting is the key point to materialize its effectiveness. This conclusion goes far beyond the simple formal closure of the meeting.
Concluding a meeting means recapping what was discussed and summarizing the actions that will need to be taken, sign roles to the right people. Here, topics for the next meeting can also be raised, such as the future measurement of the results of a certain action that has been decided upon, for example. This also strengthens the team’s commitment to the expected results raised by the meeting.