The Secret Behind Productive Meetings

By Darshie Yogarajah September 4, 2015

In our recent blog post “Five TED Talks Every Entrepreneur Should Watch”, we included a TED talk that was all about productivity in the office (if you haven’t seen it, watch it here).  Expanding on the notion of getting things done efficiently, here’s a list of five things you can start doing to make work-life work better and meetings more productive:

#1: If you absolutely must have a meeting, have the courtesy to send out an agenda.

Nobody wants to take time out of their day for a meeting without some sort of value exchange. Make sure you outline a clear agenda and show your team members why it is critical that each of them attend. By planning the agenda and inviting only those who directly impact your meeting goal, you can weed out potential side conversations and unnecessary banter.

#2: There’s no time to “find time”.

The process of scheduling a meeting shouldn’t take longer than the actual meeting. Doodle is a great tool that makes this process easier – simply create a list of possible timeslots that work for you and send it to your colleagues to complete. You get updated when everyone has filled it out and can easily see the best meeting times. A great tool for scheduling interviews, large meetings, or even planning a night out with your friends!

#3: Location, location, location.

You reached out to your team and managed to agree on a meeting time that works for everyone, but now what? If you’re a budding entrepreneur, it is very possible that you don’t have a fancy office or conference room to accommodate everyone quite yet – so where do you go from here? Check out LiquidSpace to rent office spaces on-the-go. Simply pick your location (spanning across Canada, the United States, and Australia), book it, and then check-in once you’re there!

#4: Teams are diverse – listen to your quieter members too.

Not everyone on your team necessarily wants to command the meeting or be the first one to share an opposing idea. Provide ways for introverted members to feel included too. Consider having a real-time chat or Google Doc running in the background so that quieter members can still contribute ideas and feel comfortable sharing. Having someone to act as a moderator and break the discomfort if one person gets too overpowering will also help keep the vibe neutral and keep things moving.

#5: Always end with action items.

Make sure everyone leaves the meeting with a real takeaway. The last thing you want is to be left with the realization that you just wasted all this time and money on having a “meeting” and yet nothing came out of it. Avoid that by creating action items and deadlines so that everyone knows what they are accountable for. If you used a Google Doc, send it out to your team as a reminder of what was covered – this also doubles as a way for absent members to get up-to-speed on what they missed!