11 Ways to make meetings more productive

The most painful yet underestimated problem of modern business: bad meetings.

They are the activity at the centre of every organisation, and should be interesting and relevant. There is nothing inherently boring or unproductive about them. However, you’ve probably been in a meeting where you had no idea what the agenda was or what you needed to contribute.

Why does it matter?

The costs of ineffective meetings are huge. We waste the most important assets we have as leaders; discretionary time, money and talent. The quality and speed of decisions can mean the difference between success and failure.

Here are 11 tips that will help you run more productive meetings:

  1.  Mail the agenda at least 24 hours beforehand
  2.  Arrive at the meeting five minutes early
  3.  Come prepared – use meeting time for decisions instead of discussion
  4.  Stay on topic – no side meetings within the meeting
  5.  Begin and end on time
  6.  Book 45 minutes instead of 60
  7.  Leave your mobile on silent and keep it out of sight
  8.  Do not interrupt the person speaking
  9.  Silence = no objections
  10.  Follow up via email within 24 hours
  11.  Challenge the ideas, not the messenger

Try a few of these tips at your next meeting and encourage your co-workers to do the same. Do you have other tips on how to have effective meetings? Feel free to comment below.