Stop Wasting Time and Improve Meeting Skills in Your Office
Many companies today have a serious meeting skills deficit. Monday morning sit-downs are frequently dreaded by employees and criticized by experts as unproductive and unnecessary. The statistics are alarming:
- The average meeting has more than 4 participants and lasts 45 minutes
- Over 40% of participants do other work during them
- One third of participants believe that they are unproductive
If your office has fallen into poor practices, you could benefit from business communication training. The following are some of the best practices you and your staff will learn in a meeting skills training course.
Plan Better – You can cut wasted time by planning and organizing better. According to communication skills training company Wavelength, two-thirds of all meetings have no agenda. Create an agenda and stick to it within a rigid timeframe. Make sure everyone who needs to attend does, and don’t waste someone’s time if it’s easier to update them by email or with the minutes. A single unengaged participant drags down the dynamic in the room. Let attendees know what is on the agenda beforehand so that they can prepare and discuss it.
Keep Everyone Informed – When your office gets together to discuss ongoing projects, you spare yourself the task of following lengthy email threads on complicated subjects. Effective meetings are an opportunity to keep all stakeholders informed. For example, if you need to discuss purchasing new lead management software, make sure the right representatives from both sales and purchasing are in the room. Otherwise, the sales team may have inaccurate expectations when they create a list of essential vs. desirable features.
Respect Everyone’s Time – If you want to create an office culture that values everyone’s time, start on schedule and end on schedule. Everyone will get more work done and stay on schedule for the rest of the day.
Create Accountability – Make sure everyone at the table reports on their progress, no excuses. This will keep everyone involved on a project aware of the team’s collective progress, and create a culture of accountability. Before adjourning, make it clear to everyone what’s expected of them in the coming week.
One of the key principles of Wavelength meeting skills training courses is “learning by doing.” Participants in any communications workshop should be invited to bring in their own real work experience in order to sharpen their interpersonal communication skills and delivery styles. Teams should take these courses as a group in order to learn a common language and effective methods for capturing information and action items. These are some of the things your staff can learn from courses such as those offered by training firms like Wavelength:
- How to make meetings an opportunity to solve problems, make decisions, and agree on next steps
- How to turn conflicts into discussions
- How to overcome disengagement and improve everyone’s ability to convey a message clearly
If you’re tired of losing hours every week to fruitless discussions that never start on time and always run late, it’s time to consider developing your team’s communication skills.