Meetings are a necessary evil in the business world. One may feel that many of these forced gatherings are a waste of time, as participants start to zone out and day dream about their other job tasks for the day, after-work obligations or the enjoyable activities they wish they could partake in, like yoga meditation or yoga stretching exercises.
But you can host a meeting that is productive and engaging by implementing a few simple techniques, according to the Boston Globe.
Meetings have a tendency to get off track, so be sure to manage time carefully during the meeting. Stick to the agenda and focus on the major concepts you are seeking to highlight. If other issues arise, you can make a note and table those concerns for another time in order to keep the material relevant.
Borrow a technique from grade school and use a token to designate who is allowed to speak. Whoever is holding the tennis ball, bean bag or whatever item you have chosen is the only one allowed to speak at that time. When running the meeting, you have ultimate control over where the token travels. This technique should cut down on side conversations and keep people engaged.
One of the quirkiest yet effective meeting management tips is to hold them standing up. When people aren't sitting, meetings tend to be more focused and participants are more alert. Chair-less meetings also tend to be more brief. Try hosting a stand-up meeting in a unique place in the office, away from a designated meeting room.
According to American Express' Open Forum, another key to running a successful meeting is to determine if a meeting is necessary at all. Before scheduling a get-together, first consider if this information could be better communicated through email. However, if more than three exchanges occur on the same topic, you may want to consider scheduling a meeting face-to-face.