Ever considered the effect that timing has on your meeting results? Why, for instance, would you plan a meeting from 11:00 to 14:00? Probably to avoid losing valuable time by working through lunch. Is that really so effective? To begin with, there is the noise of bringing in the lunch and eating interrupts the flow. And after lunch, you have the risk of an “energy dip.” Before you know it, you have to work hard just to concentrate. And you notice the other participants fading out as well...There is a better way...
Avoid the wee hours in the morning.
Every company has its early birds, but you can bet that most people will be very unhappy if they have a meeting planned first thing. Before 9:00 most colleagues want to nurse a cup of coffee while addressing their email, reading the meeting materials or going through the day's schedule.
Meetings in the second half of the morning are much more popular. Almost everyone has more energy. In addition, there is a natural time limit for the meeting: lunch at around 12:30.
Testosterone dip is ideal for smooth banter
Huh? Testosterone has an influence on the quality of meetings? Yes! Verbal skills peak when testosterone levels are low, which is naturally very important for meetings. According to researchers at the University of Leeds, testosterone levels are lowest between 15.00 en 17.00, thus this is an ideal time for meetings. Here also: after two hours there is a natural time for concluding, since most colleagues will want to leave at 18:00.
Choose an ideal meeting day
Not all days of the week are convenient for meetings. Friday, for instance, is unsuitable. Many colleagues are already busy closing out the week and part-time colleagues often have a day or afternoon off. If client contact is important in your organization, then preferably don’t plan for Wednesdays. Research has proven that the most deals are closed on this day: thus it is a good day for sales!
Organizations that are opened outside of normal office hours, such as restaurants and bars, naturally plan their meetings when there are few or no customers.
A timer prevents rambling chatter
Effectivity in meetings is more than just clever scheduling. Timing is also important during the meeting. Therefore it is essential to set a maximum time limit per agenda point. By using a timer or an alarm on your smart phone you can rope in colleagues who tend to go on and on! That way everyone stays alert.
Looking for more tips to optimize the effectivity of your meetings? Download this checklist for effective meetings.