Everyone knows these meetings, which consume valuable time and are not even productive. The thoughts are no longer with the meeting, but only with the tasks that actually still have to be completed. We have a few useful tips to help you structure your next meeting more successfully. This turns an annoying duty into an exchange with added value.
The 3 basic rules
Why did I arrive on time again when I had to wait for the others? And...what is this meeting about anyway? Ok, and who should take over the tasks?
To get these questions out of the world, there are 3 simple rules that should be followed at every meeting:
1. The Agenda
The first point seems trivial, but is often not heeded. Make sure everyone has the agenda in front of them. In the best case it is always visible, e.g. on a whiteboard, a large display or a flipchart. A simple handout does the trick, of course.
The agenda allows you to get straight into the conversation and find the thread much faster if the discussion gets out of control. It is best to send the agenda to all participants one day before the meeting, so that everyone has the opportunity to prepare well.
2. Start and stop on time
If the assembled team is waiting for a late person, this is usually a bad start to the meeting. Especially if the boss comes too late, the mood is subdued. Why is he late? He should set a good example. Besides, time is money. The more people wait, the more money...
You should also make sure that you end the meeting on time. A definite end time helps you achieve what's on your agenda and get people back to work quickly.
3. Zuständigkeiten festlegen
The last minutes of each meeting should be reserved for discussion about who is doing what and when. No meeting should end without this step! Otherwise, the meeting may have been for nothing.
Leading the meeting, not dominating it
The aim of a meeting should be to make the best possible decisions based on the exchange of opinions, ideas and facts. In order to ensure that everyone has their say and does not keep their opinions to themselves, you need to lead the discussion. This can be difficult when a brisk person meets a reserved character. But it's worth the effort.
When the cornerstones of the agenda have been elaborated and the discussion begins, just hold back and let the others speak. If you start the conversation with your opinion at the beginning, you will be more likely to get agreement and not different opinions and perspectives. The added value of the meeting is lost.
Show your colleagues that any idea is welcome by making crazy suggestions. Often the most valuable ideas are those that are out of place, because they open up new perspectives and take you from well-worn to new paths. In order for everyone to know that it is okay to make unconventional suggestions, you have to demonstrate it.
Distribute ballots at the beginning of the meeting. Everyone gets 3 cards that say "Super!", " All right" and "Never mind". When an idea has developed, a vote is taken and everyone raises a ballot at the same time. In this way you can collect honest opinions and involve reserved people. In addition, you will quickly have an overview of whether a further discussion is worthwhile - especially when opinions diverge widely.
Do we need the meeting or can we get rid of it?
Over time, the schedule fills up with recurring meetings that quickly become a habit. Many are important, but some are no longer useful. Therefore, you should ask yourself regularly: Do I still have to attend this meeting? Is even the whole meeting superfluous? If you check your meetings from time to time, your calendar will stay clean and you'll have more time to focus on what's important.
Getting up - how to keep the meeting short and sweet
No phones - no exceptions
One person keeps protocol - all others are less distracted
Summary ASAP - send the minutes after the meeting as soon as possible - of course including the decided tasks and responsibilities
Light bulb & flash - Do you like working on a whiteboard or flipchart? Clearly mark ideas (light bulb) and tasks (flash)
Good luck and - yes really - have fun at the next meeting!