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How can I make my team meetings more productive?

Running team meetings may not be the most glamorous part of the job, but such duties are needed. Effective communication with your team will ensure your office's vitality and willingness to keep moving, even when everyone is busy and overwhelmed. Therefore, you want to ensure that each of your conference room meetings are clear, concise, and engaging. This way, your team will leave the room understanding exactly what is expected of them or how certain events affect them. If you want to make your team's meetings more productive, however, here are three helpful suggestions:

Know what you'll say before you say it
How many times have you been in a meeting where the speaker rambles on and on, never seeming to come to a concrete conclusion? Most likely, they failed to plan ahead or make their meeting objective clear. With any meeting, you want to have a clear vision in mind for what to accomplish. Before you even think about sending out a calendar or email invite, ask yourself if a concise email could actually be a better use of company time. Don't waste your team's time with fluff, so know what you want to say before you say it.

Pay attention to the time
If you notice all your attendees are constantly looking at their watches or glancing at the wall clock, you may be running well over your allotted time frame. If you are known for ending your meetings early or right on time, you may be surprised that your employees or coworkers might be more willing to attend your meetings. Essentially, people value their time and have work to do during the day. If you are consistently eating away at the rest of their day, when they have calls to make or reports to write, they may begin making excuses as to why they cannot attend your next session.

Ban technology or any distractions
Once you hone the first two skills, you can enforce a technology rule. If your meetings are always running late, it is no wonder your employees may begin multitasking. But if it's a simple, 15-minute meeting, jam-packed with important information, you'll want their full, undivided attention. Ask your employees to leave their tablets and smartphones at their desks before walking into the room and emphasize the importance of really listening to what you have to say. If you follow these first two points, however, you might not even have to tell them to listen: they will already be engaged.

Most importantly, running effective team meetings can promote resilience in your staff. Check out our course called "Promoting Professional Resilience in Staff."