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Top 10 Ways To Make The Most Progress Out Of Your Next Meetings

Did you know that most business owners find meetings to be one of the biggest sucks of time ever? Yep. Believe it or not, most team members feel the same way. Often times companies fall into a routine ie ”Every Thursday at 11AM is our Marketing Meeting.” They meet just to meet and raise your hand if you ever had a meeting about having a meeting? Yeah, it gets pretty ugly out there and if you’re not careful you’ll find yourself and team buring though countless hours in wasted meetings. Today we’re going to cover actionable tips you can use to make your next meeting crazy effective.

Top 10 Ways To Make The Most Progress Out Of Your Next Meetings

1. Steal A Meeting Tip From Mark Zuckerberg

Like we said, most owners hate meetings. They’re just not productive. Sadly, meetings sometimes take place to give the illusion of progress being made. So what do you do? The owner of Facebook does two tricks to make his meeting time the most effective possible.

First, he has everyone send their meeting material before the actual meeting. The objective here is for the team to review the assets before they even meet and use the meeting time as a discussion.

Next, he pushes to have clear goals for their team meetings. Ie. Is the team in the room to make a decision or to have a discussion.

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Simple tips that you can implement today to push your meeting in the right direction.

2. Everyone Has A Voice

Remember you need to hold yourself and team accountable. It’s easy to hide in the back of the meeting and let a few voices take over. Make it a point that everyone needs to contribute a piece of info.

Sometimes, the team won’t have any news to share. In this case, ask if they can give a project update, if they need further assistance, connect with them. Let them know this is a team effort.

This applies to meeting members who suck up huge chunks of time. If you have any of those, start implementing a timer so people will be forced to honor the budgeted time properly and allow others to speak.

3. Keep The Meeting To 3 Goals Tops

Communication is key. Meetings need structure. They need direction. They need an objective. Don’t throw everything under the sun during a meeting. Limit it to 3 key topics you want to solve.

Keyword here is solve. Meetings are not about placing blame or venting. The best meetings are about sharing solutions. And guess what — there can be more than one solution!

4. Set Expectations

Okay, you met and now what? Who is responsible for what? Never, EVER end a meeting without having follow up steps. Everyone needs to hold each other accountable. This allows team members to come together and make sure they each have the support they need. It also ensures the project is constantly moving forward.

5. Stop Inviting Everyone To The Meeting

Meetings have a way of growing without need. They have a way of giving people the impression progress is happening and everything is great.

A bad habit to break is inviting the too many people to the meeting. Think about it — if your meeting is for 60 minutes and you have 12 people there how much time does each person have to contribute?

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The counter to that statement, “Not everyone will be speaking, so there will be more time.” Exactly, not everyone is needed, so why have them join to begin with?

In some cases, having newbies join meetings is good. It shows them the ropes, gives them an idea of what’s next, helps them see how the shop is run. Problem is, most of the time you don’t need everyone at the meeting. It’s more for show.

6. Start On Time, End On Time.

Time is money. Time is a holy resource we can’t toss away. If the meeting is at 11AM it’s at 11AM.

Be honest, as a business owner how many times have you shown up late to a meeting? Probably a few times and only by a few minutes here and there. Problem is, that adds up and adds up quick.

Take a step back and imagine over the course of a 6 months how much time those few minutes added up to. Now picture what your team was doing in that time. They were waiting around for you. They were getting paid to sit and wait.

An employee showing up late to a meeting wouldn’t be acceptable. So why should an owner get a pass? They shouldn’t.

7. Take Notes During The Meeting

If you enter a meeting and leave without writing down a single point – you wasted your time.

In this situation you can’t blame others in the meeting, perhaps you didn’t ask the right the question. Or perhaps this meeting had no value to you. Both situations are known to happen often.

8. Keep The Side Talk In The Parking Lot

Your goal for a meeting is to make it 100% effective. Keep the side talk to the parking lot.

A meeting isn’t about solving the world’s problem in one day. A meeting is about tackling a few ideas in a set time.

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Now, if you have a great team (and odds are you do) they will have outside ideas they want to share. Make a meeting for that. Give them a voice. Let them have a chance to bounce around ideas that don’t fit into the structure of this meeting. Perhaps take them out to lunch and talk shop there on these ideas.

Don’t have your meeting get sidetracked and don’t ignore the parking lot talk. Have them both on your terms.

9. Subtract 15 Minutes From Your Meeting Time

Whatever your standard meeting time is, subtract 15 minutes from it.

Every meeting has a bit of fat to it. You need to find ways to cut it. That’s why business owners like Zuckerberg suggest sending meeting info prior to the meeting. How would your points change if you had 15 minutes less to talk about?

The idea here it will force you to really lean on your talking to points to be the most effective use of time.

10. Let The Data Speak For Itself

Not everyone will agree with you. When that happens what will you do? Set the stage right at the start and you won’t have an uphill battle.

Start the meeting looking at some stats — whether this is project stats, team stats, The Bug Squasher Report Stats — You have reporting tools and data at your fingerprints. Let it paint a picture for your next meeting.

-The Bug Squasher Team

PS. Someone has to lead the meeting. Someone has to take charge. This can only be one person. Too many cooks in the kitchen will throw off the entire process. Remember progress is about teamwork and clear communication.

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