Let’s face it – no one wakes up in the morning itching to go to their meetings for the day. There’s a reason why many people can relate to the dread of the infamous meeting and it’s this – they often don’t work. Meetings have good intentions, but the manner in which they are held often results in the loss of productivity.

Ready to turn your meetings around? On our Facebook page, we asked users to complete this sentence: “Meetings are productive when ____”. We received some interesting responses and noticed a few trends. Here are 6 tips small business owners gave to help you make meetings worthwhile:

Make Meetings Work

  1. Allow Voices to Be Heard. No one wants to go to a meeting where they are unable to give their knowledgeable two cents. Creating an open atmosphere where people can be heard can make a meeting more enjoyable and give way to creative problem solving.
  2. Make Action Items. When people leave a meeting feeling lost and wondering what the purpose was, it’s often because the meeting did not reach a clear decision. A meeting shouldn’t start and end with planning to make plans. Instead, it should answer the ‘what’, ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of the meeting. When this happens, participants will leave knowing what has been decided and what next steps to take to achieve the goal of the meeting.
  3. Don’t Bring Distractions to the Table. It pays to leave behind mobile devices and put up with a few minutes of separation anxiety when attending a meeting. When distractions are left behind, participants are more focused and can help a meeting be more productive and stay on track.
  4. Have the Right People There. Keep the number of people in a meeting small. This will help avoid situations where participants who are not crucial to the core of the meeting are left asking why they are there in the first place. Make sure a meeting only consists of key players of your meeting’s agenda.
  5. Use Tools to Be Efficient. There’s a fine line between bringing in distractions and bringing in tools that will be useful during the meeting. Choose wisely! If you’re unsure, ask yourself 3 things:
    • Will it help me contribute to the meeting?
    • Will it be a necessity to the meeting’s success?
    • Will it help me get the most out of the meeting?
  6. Less is More. If a large number of meetings are scheduled and cover the same agenda, it may be an indicator that the meetings aren’t staying on track. If you have successful meetings to begin with, you won’t need to have many meetings. Make sure meetings stay focused and on point.

What are your thoughts on these six tips? Do you have your own that you didn’t see on the list? Feel free to share your advice on our Facebook page or in the comments below.