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Improving Your Team Meeting | PrideStaff Denver Northwest

Let’s be honest—we all waste a lot of time sitting in meetings.

Whether it’s ten minutes of friendly banter or a wandering, aimless agenda, there’s nothing more frustrating than sitting in a meeting room, glancing at the clock and thinking about the to-do list you have back at your desk. It’s nonsense! But it can be stopped.

Stop Wasting Time with These Meeting Tips

Send Out an Agenda

At least 48 hours ahead of time, send a detailed agenda so everyone is aware of the plan for the meeting. Keep it focused and specifically assign who will oversee certain areas so people can come prepared. Set a good example by showing up on time, even early, and expect the rest of your team to be punctual as well. Start on time and, respecting people’s time, end on time. If you scheduled forty-five minutes, don’t go an hour. If there’s something that still needs to be addressed—a crisis or obstacle that suddenly popped up, dismiss everyone else and meet with only the people who need to be involved.

Identify Desired Outcomes

As you lay out the agenda, make sure you can specify your desired outcome for each agenda item and figure out how much time you want to spend on each one. For some topics, you might just aim to flush out a more in-depth conversation. Other items might require a five-minute status update. And other items might require reaching a consensus or laying out an action plan. Be quick to redirect people when you start to get off-track or away from your desired outcome. This eliminates a lot of wasted time having irrelevant discussions. Everyone will know when you’re finished talking about a topic, so you can move on.

Assign Roles

Aside from letting people know ahead of time which agenda items they’re responsible to discuss and lead, assign roles during the meeting as well. You’ll need a note taker and perhaps a timekeeper and limit the invitees to people who need to be there. Sometimes too many people results in too many opinions and too much excess chatter that can waste time.

Remember, as you work through your agenda, be specific when you designate people to take on action items. Who’s doing what and by when? If you can’t agree on something, put someone in charge of doing further research or following up until you have time to address it.

Cancel Them When You Can

This one is easy. Don’t meet if you don’t have to! Maybe it’s a shorter workweek or you just covered most of your regular agenda items in your last meeting and there’s nothing new to report on. People will appreciate that you’re respecting their time. And it strengthens a sense of urgency at your next meeting—people will be more focused and ready to get down to business.

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