How to make the best of your meetings

Khushboo Kaushik is Content Manager at CareerBuilder India. Her expertise of writing can be uncovered in areas- Employer Branding, Recruitment Trends, Employee Engagement, Tech in HR. Also, a lover of poetry & art. Reach out to her at

The meeting that whines on and on, the meeting where everyone sits fiddling with his or her smartphone and tablets, or the meeting where almost everyone in the room is marvelling the same thing: Why am I even here?

In the workday, meetings fill an increasing number of hours, and yet most employees consider them as a waste of time.

According to an HBR study, senior executives lose a hundred thousand dollars annually, irreversibly, either by calling for or attending meetings without definitive results.

But, there is a good news: Rapid trialling with meetings in past decade by Fortune 500 and Startups alike has created a new set of rules to contemplate. Here are 3 most important guidelines to consider before organising any organizational or departmental meeting:

  1. All meetings must have stated AGENDA or purpose: Without an agenda meetings can quickly turn into an aimless social gathering.
  2. Attendees should walk away with CONCRETE ACTIONS or next steps.
  3. The meeting must have an END—TIME.
How to make the best of your meetings
How to make the best of your meetings

Here are some additional ways to run efficient, productive meetings that leave your employees feeling excited and energized about their work.

# Send the agenda one day prior. If on a short notice, then, at least, send it an hour before the meeting. This helps the participants to be well prepared around the agenda and keeps them aligned to the objective.

# Convey the expected outcome. It’s quite simple as it is said here. If the attendees are aware that they are expected to solve a particular problem, they will be well aware of facts and figures, and they would also research the problem statement more. As they are well prepared, it takes less time to bring them straight to solutions and everyone follows it quickly too. It further helps to bring everyone to a common consensus.

# Collective Inputs & Decisions. It’s always good to convey clearly that some solutions are expected from the attendees. Of course, they are free to do the ‘thinking on their feet’, but the level of preparedness reflects on their level of participation. All put together the discussion could revolve around choosing the best alternatives rather than preparing.

#Define the Meeting ‘Type’. If you are in charge, it is always good to define the meeting ‘type’. The level of response, enthusiasm and reaction from participants is quite as per expectations. The response is congruent with the type – so you can see the creative best from the people around when it is a ‘Planning’ meeting.

# Make everyone accountable. One good way to make people responsible for it is, by circulating a Minutes of meeting with all attendees and also sharing a copy with senior executives. Key actions and deliverables with appointing people responsible for the same.

#Avoid ‘CC’ to seniors on every mail. A good caveat is discouraging ‘CC’ culture. i.e. not everyone likes, If all emails are marked in ‘CC’ to senior executives. At the same time, it is a good enough opportunity to develop trust and bankable culture with colleagues as well.

Meetings can be truly productive and valuable if you simply take the above steps into consideration.

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