6 tips for more productive meetings
One meeting follows the next, but in the end the results are missing. We’ve found ways to make our meetings - currently online meetings - more efficient
Jour fixe, kick-off, brainstorming and customer meetings. One meeting follows the next, but in the end the results are missing. Have you experienced this? We have, too! But we’ve found ways to make our meetings - currently mainly online meetings - more efficient. And you can do it too!
Step 1: Define Dos & Don’ts
As the cornerstone of our work and meeting culture, we have agreed on ground rules. They specify how we plan meetings, moderate them successfully and how we want to talk to each other in order to become more productive. Of course, we then have to actively follow these rules. Admittedly, we don’t always succeed. But we can now always remind each other of the rules we’ve set, making our meeting culture more efficient in the long term. That’s why our tip is to set guidelines that fit your company’s needs, challenges and values. Should there be no meetings on Fridays or should appointments last no longer than 30 minutes? Discuss internally how your meetings can be better designed. Write down your findings, make the document available for everyone, and then? Stick to it!
Step 2: Choose a unique title
A concrete meeting title creates clarity about what the appointment is about. An example: You receive an invitation to the meeting with the title „Marketing measures 2023“. Pretty vague, isn’t it? If, on the other hand, the title is „Marketing measures 2023 - projects that we still need to initiate this year“, the objective is clear. Participants can then prepare better for the meeting or question their participation.
Step 3: Define your agenda & goals
Whether it’s a virtual or an in person meeting, an agenda determines which topics will be discussed. It provides structure and ensures that the goals of the meeting are achieved. Assign a person responsible for each topic to clarify responsibilities in advance and specify the time allotted for this. For longer meetings, also include breaks in the agenda - this also applies to online meetings!
Step 4: Plan thoughtfully
Finding a free time slot in the calendar of busy colleagues feels like Tetris Level 17, not only for the organisers, but especially for the attendees. So don’t squeeze meetings into the last available slot in the calendar. Otherwise, stress and delays are inevitable. Allow your participants a 15-minute buffer before and after a meeting for room changes, comfort breaks and a look at their inbox. Start your own meeting on time instead of waiting for latecomers, and end it within the specified time frame so you don’t delay follow-up meetings
Step 5: Assign roles
At .diff, different roles take on organisational and structural tasks during an appointment, such as taking minutes, visualising or moderating a meeting. In addition, time keepers keep an eye on the time schedule and process keepers control the methodical procedure. One person can have multiple roles. Consider bringing participants into the meeting explicitly for these tasks and methods, rather than assigning the roles to participants.
Step 6: Use agile methods
For us, agile methods are more than new work buzzwords. They help us gain a different perspective and achieve better results. Whether it’s stand-up meetings, an ice breaker question at the beginning or techniques that make our brainstorming more efficient - there are suitable methods for every meeting and every challenge.