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A Collection of the Best Advice for Productive Meetings (Part 1)

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This week, we’re back with even more advice from industry leaders you won’t find anywhere else. We’ve covered a number of important topics in the past, including audience engagement and managing remote teams. But today, we’re moving onto a topic we know many of you will benefit from, no matter which industry you’re in: meeting. Specifically, we’re going to share the best advice we have collected for running productive meetings.

The Best Advice for Running Productive Meetings

Let’s begin!

The 8% Rule for Running Productive Meetings

First, we heard from Michael Alexis, the CEO of TeamBuilding. He offered up his advice for running productive meetings with the help of the 8% rule:

“My #1 recommendation for running more effective meetings is to follow The 8% Rule. This rule states that you should spend 8% of the time in any meeting doing fun games and activities. 

For example, you could do a quick round of icebreaker questions or trivia. The goal of these games is to help participants in the meeting become more comfortable talking and collaborating, with the end result being more productive and effective meetings. Also, the impact is cumulative across meetings, and so you will see added benefits over the weeks and months that follow. 

This rule is called 8% because it equals about five minutes for every hour spent in meetings, and can be adjusted up or down accordingly.”

Keep Them Short

Several industry leaders also commented on the importance of watching the time during meetings so they don’t go on too long.

For starters, Christen Costa, the CEO of Gadget Review shares:

“One of the biggest lessons I have learned from running countless meetings over the years is that people don’t like long meetings. No matter what the subject of discussion is, most would prefer that whoever is leading the meeting is concise and to the point so that they can resume their work with the least amount of time lost as possible. Whenever I lead a meeting now, I put a lot of preparation into it. I start with the main points right off-the-bat, and I leave room for casual conversation at the end of the meeting so that those who want/need to get back to work can do so. I want my team to know that I value their time!”

Next, Gergo Vari, the CEO at Lensa also adds:

“Keep meetings between 15 and 45 minutes long to ensure that everyone stays engaged and gets the most out of their time. If you can’t get through all of the talking points in that amount of time, perhaps extra preparation is needed before the meeting, or you might need to break it into two separate sessions. Long meetings often feel like a waste of time, and surveys show that a majority of employees perceive most meetings as precisely that.”

Encouraging Participation

A number of leaders also shared their thoughts and advice for encouraging meeting attendees to actively participate.

Monique Maley, the  president of Articulate Persuasion shares:

“Meetings only work when everyone attending participates. This is not always easy or comfortable for everyone. It is the leadership job to facilitate a meeting and encourage everyone to contribute. This is truer than ever in our hybrid work environment. Remote or hybrid meetings make it easy for attendees to fade into the background and disengage. Others find it easy to dominate the conversation. Leaders can ensure full participation by not allowing cameras off and regularly inviting attendees to share their thoughts. Make sure everyone has an agenda well in advance and guide the meeting efficiently through the agenda.”

Dave Kohl of FIRST IN Real Estate Marketing adds: 

“Over the years my secret has been to give everyone (or as many as time will allow) the opportunity to participate. Employees, colleagues, associates, and vendors want to be talked with and not just talked to. When they know that their ideas can be heard and that they may be called upon, they will pay a lot more attention and be thinking about what will be discussed beforehand. Even a simple, Debbie, what do you think? could make someone’s day.”

Finally, Marilyn Gaskell, founder of TruePeopleSearch offers:

“I usually make announcements for meetings one week prior and encourage participation by making it hard for everyone to zone out. Thus, the meetings in today’s world must be remote-friendly so that you can have maximum participation from everyone in the workplace. In addition, it is always very effective to incorporate one or two games related to the meeting’s topic to boost the participants’ interest.”

Did you enjoy this post? Well, you’re in luck! We’ll be back soon with part two where we’ll share more about running productive meetings, including how leaders overcome the challenges that can get in the way. 

 

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