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5 steps to mastering meetings


Are you one of the 47% of employees that consider certain meetings to be a waste of time?1 If you are, then you’ll be eager to learn how to spot the superfluous gatherings and how to get the most from the ones you do attend.

When meetings are managed well, the opportunity to foster productive relationships is much greater; it’s easier to focus when you’re away from your desk and the chances of motivating colleagues and influencing the outcome of meetings increases in a face-to-face environment.

But with meetings taking up such a large chunk of our time, how can you get maximum benefit from those that you attend? As a leader, how do you ensure people feel motivated and energised to accomplish goals following your meetings?

Golden rules for successful meetings

Experimentation with meetings in the past decade by start-ups and Fortune 500 companies alike has produced a new set of rules to consider for mastering meetings. Many are universal, subtle and above all effective!

Set the agenda

Email the agenda 24 hours in advance and make sure everyone is clear on the purpose of the meeting and their contribution, so they arrive prepared.

Keep them to time

Some companies have been known to issue penalties if attendees are late – from making people sing when they came in late, to cash fines.

Make them short and effective

Brivo, a security management software provider, has a ‘no rehash’ rule. Employees signal to others that a topic has already been addressed by raising a ‘no rehash’ ping-pong paddle. The company’s president says it creates big time savings as no-one has to justify invoking the rule itself, and the meeting can proceed with earlier decisions intact.

Make them memorable

Baby food manufacturer Plum Organics holds creative thinking meetings with colouring books, advocating this as a proven way to promote active listening which has been extremely important to the company’s new product development.

Action Items

Participants should leave with concrete next steps or actionable tasks. You should also follow up by email within 24 hours.

Some of the world’s most respected companies apply these rules – as well as some unique methods of their own. At Google, they ensure all meetings have a clear decision maker and that no more than ten people attend. During the Steve Jobs era at Apple, every project had a Directly Responsible Individual ‘DRI’ whose name appeared next to all of the agenda items they were responsible for and every task was tagged.

The physical environment can also influence the effectiveness of meetings. Studies show that well-ventilated, well-lit rooms can increase engagement and there is a strong correlation between natural light and employee alertness.

Portakabin regularly works with organisations across the UK to design ergonomic office spaces that reflect their corporate values and help to engage employees. Robert Snook, Director and General Manager at Portakabin says: “Many organisations choose the Portakabin Ultima Vision building system, which is designed with floor-to-ceiling panelling across the front to maximise natural light. It also can include ergonomic furniture and climate control for improved air quality.”

Another key benefit of modular buildings is their flexibility, enabling companies to quickly accommodate an increasing number of meetings and changing formats.

Whether you love or loathe meetings, to discover how Portakabin can help to facilitate your meeting with professional, productive and energising space, please call us on [contact numbers].

1. Source: www.fastcompany.com (July 2015).




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