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New year, new meetings

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A new year means a chance to do thing's differently; so let's start with something everyone can relate to...meetings.

Let's be honest, you either love them or you hate them, either way they're inevitable, but what if I told you they didn't have to be so bad?

If you don't like something, change it.

Any meeting that produces tangible results, is a meeting worth having. If you often find yourself walking out and thinking, 'what was the point in that?' then you might need to reconsider the style of your meetings.

Let's look at some effective styles

Brainstorming

When a problem needs solving, try brainstorming. It's a good way to get input from your teammates and gives you the opportunity to see the solution unravel in front of your eyes.

Just be sure to take a picture of the brain dump afterwards, or to create it digitally, where you can refer to it for trial and error purposes. It's more effective then just talking about challenges, as you come away with actions to solve them, and if an idea doesn't work, try another from your brainstorm.

All-hands meeting

Atlassian are amongst the many companies who practise this style of meeting, often in the form of Q&A. This type of meeting is useful to all levels of the business, as it allows people to communicate and get answers to thing's they may not have known otherwise.

1-2-1 meetings

Although you won't always come out of a one-on-one with a short-term solution, it's likely you'll develop a shared understanding with your manager on a longer term one, allowing for plenty of time to prepare for the future.

Reflection meetings

Agile Software Development has influenced teams to use the "team retrospective" approach, which has seen an increase in the assessment of team health.

Let's say your business has recently tried out a new method of working; by having a collaborative discussion to review the outcome of this, team members get the chance to have their input, which is vital in assuring you never miss a trick. Everyone has their own perspectives and by airing all of these thoughts out, methods can be adjusted.

The tangible result of a meeting such as this, will be the action plan you form at the end, as a team.

If the style of meeting isn't the problem, maybe it's something else...

It could be that you're already doing one or more of the above within your organisation, but are still feeling like there's something missing, and you might not be wrong.

Here are some other points you may want to take into consideration, before stepping into another meeting.

Come prepared

Guilty of turning up to meetings without a structured plan? This could be why you're left questioning the point of them at the end. Meeting's without structure, often lead to attendees going off on tangents, resulting in confusion of the overall point, and therefore loss of productivity, as the time could have been used to focus on more pressing matters.

Review of attendees

Are you involving the right people? It might be time to rethink your invitation list. Make sure the relevant individuals within your organisation are in the room, and consider whether or not they will be able to bring anything worthwhile to the table.

Take notes

It may seem like an obvious suggestion to make, but it's easy to think that you'll be able to remember everything that's being said. Well, the chances are you probably won't. If you aren't one for taking notes, consider assigning a member of your team to do this for everyone in the room, and have them share this document with everyone within the team at the end, that way, they can go back and refer to it later, where necessary.

Time the input of everyone in the room

Most meetings are timed, but it's unusual for attendees to be given specific slots to have their say. This sometimes results in more outspoken individuals taking up the majority of the allocated time, so the opinions of other individuals gets cut short as a result, or goes unheard entirely. By allocating time limits to everyone, you can ensure that everyone gets their say.

Make 2019 a productive year, by trying out some of our suggestions.
Don't forget to let us know how you get on, by commenting on this blog.

Know some more techniques to help make a meeting better? We'd love to hear your ideas.

 

January 02, 2019
Mehrnaz Karimi
Mehrnaz Karimi

Mehrnaz is a Content Marketing Executive with five years experience in freelance journalism & copywriting, she has seen her writing published in eight different outlets, over print, digital, & television, including tech copywriting.

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