7 tips for effective meetings

Posted by Paul Neefjes on Jan 26, 2016 9:02:00 AM

effectief_vergaderen-ibabsEveryone has experienced them, those meetings that seem to drag on forever. Endless discussions with no resolutions: it's such a waste of time and, particularly, money.  That’s why this blog will give you seven tips to increase the efficiency of the meetings in your organization.

1. Is it really necessary to meet?

This may seem obvious but it is still important to ask: do all of these topics really need to be discussed? Perhaps a meeting isn’t even necessary! 

2. Clear agenda

An effective meeting begins with a clear agenda that is distributed well in advance so that all participants are prepared. Therefore there is no doubt which subjects are planned and what the goal of the meeting is.  

3. Flexible participation

Only invite colleagues who are essential to reaching the goals of the meeting.  That prevents having participants who just sit back complacently and makes the meeting process much more effective.  You should also ask yourself if all participants are essential for each agenda point.  Have you thought to invite some participants only for specific subjects? 

4. Assign the correct meeting chair

You don’t always need the same chair for recurrent meetings.  In fact, it is refreshing to rotate the chair.  Searching for a strong concept during the meeting?  Then assign a creative thinker to lead it!

5. Rules and regulations for disruptive members…  

It is extremely distracting during a meeting if associates cannot find the correct materials or have forgotten to turn off the sound on their phone.  Or, even worse, actually answer the telephone! Avoid this distracting behavior by clearly stating the procedures in advance.  

6. Start and end precisely on time

Time management is a key element of these procedures.  Are there people who habitually come late, blocking the progress of the meeting?  Then don’t wait until everyone is present. They will catch on.  Adjourning on time is just as vital.  A meeting with 10 colleagues that runs half an hour late results in a loss of five working hours.

7. Set the timer

Timing is also essential during the meeting.  Keep track of how long a subject is handled and the time that participants speak.  You wouldn’t believe how often a meeting runs late.  It is the chair’s duty to keep good track of timing.  By quickly handling each item, you make rapid progress in the meeting and everyone stays alert.

I made a checklist for effective meetings practices to help you further to maximize the efficiency of your meetings.  Download it here and share it with your colleagues!

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Topic: Meeting techniques

iBabs is a leader in paperless meetings and enables you to reduce these piles of documents to the thickness of your tablet. Hundreds of organizations have been using this system for more than 15 years.

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