Productive Meetings … 5 Keys!

Meeting TemplateI know that meetings get a bad rap. People hate them. They think that meetings are gigantic wastes of time. In 2011, Harris Interactive surveyed more than 2,000 workers about status meetings, and 70 percent said that status meetings don’t help them accomplish their work.

A Microsoft survey tracking office productivity contacted 38,000 workers around the world to identify “productivity pitfalls.” Respondents reported that two out of every five days on the job were wasted. The main culprit: “ineffective meetings.”

It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, if you want to become a great company, you have to hold productive meetings if you want to achieve RESULTS. That’s what this section is all about.
Meetings can help you be more productive, not less. They can actually save you time instead of wasting it.

The 5 Keys

Purpose – Every productive meeting has a purpose. Participants should know what the meeting is for. The purpose should be worth pulling people away from other productive work. It should be something that can be best accomplished by a group of people working together at the same time.

Preparation – This is one key to productive meetings. Your Key Performance Indicators should be updated and every attendee should come prepared to share their perspectives in order to achieve the purpose.

Process – Productive meetings have a clear process, defined by the agenda. It should describe how participants will accomplish the purpose. I think you should have a standard agenda for every recurring meeting.

Participation – Productive meetings are characterized by the participation of everyone present. People should be at the meeting because they have something to contribute, and participating is how they contribute.

Progress – In a productive meeting, everyone should make progress. They should leave the meeting better off than when they entered and have more clarity around what everyone needs to do next.

Those guidelines should hold for any meeting you call. But there are three specific meetings that you can use to drive execution and productivity. They are the Weekly Team Meeting, the Daily Team Huddle, and the One-on-One Weekly Meeting.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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