According to Inc.com, we spend more than $37 billion dollars every year on unproductive meetings. In fact, the majority of meetings are considered to be unproductive failures. Stop wasting your time, money, energy, and resources. Help your business by learning three causes of failed meetings and tips to increase productivity.
- Lack of Organization
One of the biggest sources of unsuccessful meetings is a lack of planning and structure. Meetings should be scheduled with an exact beginning and end time to allow attendees to plan their time accordingly. The topic of the meeting should be announced beforehand, so all participants are aware of the agenda and can prepare in advance. Focus of the meetings should stay on the topic, if discussions start going in another direction suggest to save these talks for another discussion channel, at another time.
- Unengaged Participants
There is a difference between being present for a meetings and being engaged in a meeting. Another big cause of lost meeting production is an uninvolved audience. When members enter a meeting, many are prepared for the weekly/daily monologue and check out. Discussion and involvement is absolutely necessary for productive meetings. Avoid one-person speeches and give members a chance to engage in the meeting.
Avoid too many cooks in the kitchen, or in this case too many attendees in the meeting. Attendees should only be those who can contribute and help resolve the topic. Inappropriate invite lists lead to over discussion and unproductivity.
As a final note, ensure your own engagement in a meeting by avoiding multitasking. Instead of using this time to check emails, work on unrelated topics, or doodling, focus on the specified topic, issue, and resolution for this short amount of time. As we all know, multitasking wastes more time than it saves.
- No after meeting action
Nothing compares to the feeling of frustration when walking out of a meeting that produced no resolution. Without a resolution, or action items toward a resolution, meetings are a huge waste of time. One of the most important tips for meetings -- go in with a plan, come out with a conclusion. Not only should an outcome be shaped, but the information should be shared. This way, everyone is aware of your productivity and are prepared to engage in future meetings with expected outcomes.
Most importantly, after a meeting, act on your conclusion. Start to actively put in to place what you discussed. By doing this, you are making your meetings worthwhile.
Too long to read?
Check out this cool infographic to visualize The Ugly Truth about Meetings.