You might be the one holding them or attending them, but it doesn’t matter. Business meetings are the bane of every office habitat, and they happen more often than anyone would want to.

Regardless of how employees feel about meetings, the data doesn’t lie: executives today spend close to a day’s length – 23 hours per week – holding meetings. Imagine an entire day of excursion where your boss just talks and talks.

If you’re guilty of calling way too many meetings, it’s time to curb the habit. Here’s how.

Explore New Methods of Meeting

Do your team members always have to attend roundtable meetings? Maybe not. With various communication solutions like VegaIP offering connection and collaboration tools, perhaps calling another company huddle isn’t necessary.

Before choosing the right tool, ask yourself, “What do I want to happen?” Disseminating information, soliciting responses, or solving an issue that needs a more dynamic approach used to justify meetings. However, time is a more significant factor today. Sending a team-wide e-mail, unified messaging, or scheduling a teleconference or a video chat might better fit your schedule.

Keep Your Agenda Clear

It’s also essential to determine the specific points you want to talk about. You don’t just march into the meeting room with a goal and not know how you can get there. You have to predict the discussion’s path.

List down all the things you want to discuss and then rank the most important ones. Determine where you should talk, where you should use visual aids, and where your team can contribute. Make clear the exact result that should come from each point on your list.

Set Expectations Early

Everyone’s time is important. From the freshest intern to your most senior executive, no one’s time is more golden than the other. Thus, when setting a meeting, let them know everything about it in advance.

If details are “to be announced,” then it shouldn’t be held in the first place. If the agenda is still a mess the day before, then consider postponing it. The point of informing them ahead is so that they can mentally and physically prepare. Is it a routine report, an informative presentation, or a brainstorming session? Everyone has to know.

Work Under a Time Limit

When leading a meeting, a time limit has to be transparent to you and everyone involved. On your end, this helps you manage your thoughts and deliver the most important points with the time allotted. On your listener’s end, this helps them feel the urgency of the topic, thereby maintaining focus and retaining more details from your discussion.

Overall, having a time limit is a way to manage expectations. If the meeting is kept concise, then this tells your team that results are attainable without wasting too much time.

Summarize

colleagues having a meeting

Never forget to sum up your meeting. By doing so, you reiterate focal points in the discussion, remind your teammates of specific outputs expected of them, and echo the point of the meeting.

As a leader, this also asserts that you are a good listener. Considering your members’ viewpoints and listing down viable contributions tells them that you care not only about the results but also their capabilities. Summarizing your meeting reminds them of that fact.

The process works whether you’re meeting face-to-face or logging online for a long-distance video-conference. Ultimately, it’s about showing – not telling – that you deserve your team’s attention.

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