Have you ever been sat in a meeting, wondering why you are even there? Even worse, have you ever had a meeting with an important client whose look on their face suggests that they are thinking the same? Studies show that organizations spend up to 15% of their personnel budget on meetings, but they rarely yield much productivity, coming at a huge loss financial, although hard to quantify. We will discuss what measures we can take to prevent this from happening, by making meetings feel beneficial from the beginning through to the end.

 

Mistake 1 – There is no strong agenda

 

Never organize or turn up to a meeting without an itemized list of what must be decided. Meetings don’t occur just for the sake of it; they take up a lot of some people’s days so it is imperative that they are run as efficiently and are as productive as possible. Not having an agenda could lead to the meeting going off track, and therefore cutting into the rest of the attendee’s time. Stick to agenda and people will thank you for it.

 

Mistake 2 – You focus on the time rather than the tasks

 

A meeting should aim to follow the tasks not the time. If all the tasks are completed in 10 minutes of the allotted hour, then there shouldn’t be any reason to keep going for the remaining 50 minutes. Time is precious and must be used wisely. With modern room scheduling software we are able to book rooms for meetings and invite people at the click of a button. If a meeting finishes early and the room is vacated, this would immediately show on the software and the remaining time could be allocated to someone else. This fluid scheduling benefits by alerting people to free rooms, increasing their utilization. A room display is the perfect way to visualize all these details, be it on a smartphone or on a screen in the reception.

 

Mistake 3 – There are too many people

 

There is a saying “too many cooks spoil the broth”, and it couldn’t be truer when referring to meetings. If you have too many people trying to make decisions and relay their ideas, you may have a larger pool of ideas to choose from, but this almost always results in an interference of groupthink.  In the interests of group harmony the end result is an irrational decision-making outcome. However, you must strike a balance with the number of people invited, depending on the purpose of the meeting. A good amount for problem solving and decision-making is up to 8 people as this reduces the chances of conflicting input.

 

Although these are only a few of the common meeting mistakes, acting on these problems sooner rather than later can provide immediately noticeable results in the meeting productivity. If you begin by correcting these mistakes, you will be providing you and your organization a more stable foundation for when make important decisions.

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