We’ve all felt the dread at the thought of a meeting coming up. All too often, what should be a short, focused meeting to move work forward becomes a long, sprawling affair. Contributors get talked over, the agenda ignored and those who don’t feel engaged find themselves fighting off sleep.
Poor planning and an ineffective chair leaves most of trying to find ways to get out of meeting, instead of feeling energised by the opportunity to collaborate, share and be creative about our work. In order to understand how to make meetings better, it’s important to look at why they so often fail.
Why do meetings fail?
Agenda, agenda, agenda – All too often, the agenda is an afterthought. Often coming out on the day of the meeting (or worse, in the meeting itself) participants don’t get a chance to thoroughly read through the agenda, make contributions and question agenda items.
In the meeting itself, the agenda is often ignored, leading to meetings that run over the allotted time and don’t cover everything intended. Particularly strong participants can run roughshod over the agenda, taking up time to deal with their own issues at the expense of the rest of the participants.
No action plan – meetings are pointless if all they do is cover old ground. They should be focused on the future, but too often there are no solid outcomes for participants and a sense that everyone is treading water.
Discomfort – meeting rooms that are too hot or too cold can distract participants from properly engaging. Uncomfortable chairs and desks that aren’t suited to the purpose of the meeting can also cause members of the meeting to become distracted.
How to make your meetings more effective
Craft a suitable agenda – A well-crafted agenda that goes out in advance of the meeting itself will serve you well. Ask participants for comments, agenda items that have been missed and feedback on the style of meeting required – you’ll find people are more engaged if they’ve contributed to the shape of it.
Take forward an action plan – During the meeting, distinct, realistic and achievable points of action should be noted and delegated to the appropriate participants. Once the meeting is over, it’s essential to draw up an action plan that contains all the information needed for participants to carry out the work. An action plan that is achievable will make participants see the value in meetings that aren’t just talking shops.
Create a comfortable environment – Make sure the temperature of the room is correct, have plenty of water and maybe some snacks on hand – fruit is better than sugary snacks which can cause energy levels to rapidly drop off. Ensure that the meeting room furniture suits the participants’ needs and makes them comfortable throughout.
Modus Commercial Panel End Desks are ideal for effective meeting areas
Modus Commercial Panel End Desks are ideal for use in all kinds of office environments, including meeting rooms. They come in a range of stylish desktop shapes and 4 warm wood colour finishes, offering comfort and class to any meeting area.
Our full Modus Commercial Panel End Desks range also includes storage add-ons, which is ideal for ensuring that meeting notes, agendas and such are kept to hand. You can view our full range here and talk to our sales team if you need advice on choosing the ideal combinations.