7 mistakes you may make in scheduling a meeting – Meetings are an integral part of most organizations around the world, and we know that these meetings come in many forms and for a myriad of reasons (such as negotiation, collaboration, brainstorming, etc.).
We’ve all been to a meeting, at least once, where most of the time is spent discussing issues outside the mainstream. These endless discussions, in addition to prolonging the meeting time, boring the audience, will cause the project goals to be forgotten or diminished.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to set a meeting agenda (A Meeting Agenda). Although this may seem easy, there are several mistakes you can make when preparing for a meeting. In this article, we take a look at some basic statistics and practical tips to ensure that your meeting will be really useful.
13 Important Statistics About Meetings
- The management of time spent in meetings, including minutes, has improved by about 10% each year (since 2000).
- On average, sessions last about 31 to 60 minutes.
- In 73% of the sessions, only 2 to 4 people are involved.
- Respecting the meeting agenda can reduce up to 80% of the meeting time.
- 63. Meetings in the United States do not use any meeting schedule.
- 73% of people often do multiple tasks at the same time during a meeting.
- Approximately 15% of the organization’s time is spent in meetings.
- Organizations lose $ 37 billion annually due to unproductive meetings.
- Employees can spend up to 4 hours per week preparing for the status update session.
- More than 67% of meetings are considered a failure by managers.
- 57% of people have multitasking when making phone calls and 4% when making video calls.
- On average, presenters spend up to 23 hours per week preparing for the sessions.
- In a survey of 182 senior executives, 65% reported that meetings discouraged them from doing their homework and encouraged teamwork.
7 mistakes you may make when scheduling a meeting
Do not wait until the last minute.
Too often, you hardly have enough time to prepare for a meeting. This is the main reason why meetings are unproductive for you and other participants. In addition, if you do not have a properly scheduled meeting available, you may end up wasting your time on useless topics. As a result, it can increase the time it takes to complete a session.
For example, if your meeting is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, you do not have to wait until Saturday to start preparing for the meeting. While there is no exact time frame here, you should work on your minutes at least two days in advance.
This way, you have enough time to draw all the topics for processing and creating a professional document instead of random notes on a piece of paper. In addition, it allows you to share the agenda with all participants in advance. This way, you can probably make changes based on the feedback you received before your meeting.
Agenda without purpose
Have you ever attended a meeting in the middle of which you realized that you did not understand the purpose of this meeting? Unfortunately, this happens very often. Without a proper, well-planned meeting with specific goals, having a meeting is a waste of resources.
When preparing your agenda:
- Start with what should be the ideal result.
- List all the topics that need to be covered to achieve this goal.
- To achieve this, add sub-topics that you feel you need to discuss with the audience.
For example, if you meet with your design team for a brainstorming session, your goal could be to identify the colors and pens used in your next marketing practice. Having clear goals helps all participants know what they expect from the meeting and what should be achieved in the end.
Solo show of scheduling a meeting
Hosting a meeting is one thing, but performing a solo show is another. Unfortunately, in some cases, the host monopolizes the available time. This often leads to tedious meetings with little involvement. Where 16% of the attendees take a nap. Remember, first of all, your organization relies on teamwork and engagement to move forward.
One surefire way to increase attendance and avoid one-on-one shows is to ask your co-workers directly for suggestions on how to improve the meeting schedule while you are still in the planning stage. Also, encourage them to give a reason for discussing the issue during the meeting.
If you did not enter their suggestions, be sure to explain why. As much as possible, avoid holding the meeting alone and encourage your participants to share their information. Volunteering is essential to achieving the goal of the meeting.
Poor priority and timing
Lack of questions in scheduling a meeting
When agenda items consist of random short phrases, people are more likely to understand what the topic is. This does not make them curious or encourage them to participate in the discussion. Lack of questions leads to a decrease in the level of interaction on the part of the participants. Mentioning the issues on your agenda as a question can improve participation and at the same time clarify exactly what needs to be discussed.
For example, if you are actually looking for specific colors and fonts to use in your next marketing project, having an item on the agenda as a “marketing method” is very vague. Instead the question “What colors and fonts should be used in our brochure?” It is more specific and ensures that your participants are prepared to respond to this during the meeting.
Participants do not have the necessary information
Some attendees come to meetings completely unaware of the subject, and this can be really frustrating. But can you always blame them? While some may deliberately shy away from their duties, others may not really have enough time to prepare for the meeting. If your participants are not ready, this will probably be the same one-man show for you again. Which should be avoided at all costs.
An easy solution to this situation is to share the minutes with the audience at least 24 hours before the meeting. This allows them enough time to review the agenda, prepare any questions, address concerns and challenges ahead. By entering the list of responsibilities of each member participating in the meeting, you can take them to the next level. In addition, you will have a good insight into those who are truly committed and backward.
Avoid feedback in scheduling a meeting
Most people avoid receiving feedback because they prefer to avoid any criticism. However, this can be a precursor to the improvements you can make for future meetings.
How can we ensure that your meeting has been fruitful?
Through your mind mapping, you plan your meeting and share it with all the participants. Now we need to know how our meeting was successful and fruitful?
After the meeting, some practical and documented things are important steps to achieve your goals. Setting up a meeting and gathering all the participants often take up a lot of resources. In order for your meeting to be worth the commitment and resources, attendees need to understand what they need to complete and understand their assignments to achieve the ultimate goal.
When making decisions in the meeting, the participants are assigned important issues to take action. Because this will normally happen in real-time, it is essential that the meeting host document all cases and the teams responsible for each case. Follow these guidelines to maximize your organization’s chances of achieving your ultimate goals.
Documentary activities in scheduling a meeting
As mentioned earlier, managing meetings and making decisions without taking action to back up those meetings is a waste of time and extra energy for everyone.
First of all, a practical activity should be clearly and easily identified for all participants, especially the person conducting the meeting. If possible, if you have all the information to make a decision, state it explicitly, rather than postponing it to another date or letting someone else find out.
When assigning a practical action, clearly state the steps taken and make sure that participants know exactly how and why they should do it this way.
Ensuring that each participant has no problem understanding their tasks will reduce the confusion and overall stagnation of your work. Also, go one step further to make sure that the assignments are actionable for the whole team and that all co-workers have the resources to carry out their tasks.
Assign one person to each practical case
Instead of focusing too much on one person or team, it is wise to divide the workload. In general, projects that are divided into several small actions will help you reach your goal faster. Divide “bigger” tasks into smaller, manageable ones to make sure your entire project can be shared with participants.
Also, make sure that each person is assigned a practical task. That person must have the necessary skills to do that activity. Encourage teamwork between participants if team members feel they can help each other. Finally, set a deadline for completing actionable items and remind everyone that this time is the same for everyone.
Keep track of all items and tasks.
Typically, we write down many things during the session without which we can easily miss the decisions and actions taken.
Following up on all tasks, responsibility for each of their legal deadlines is essential to achieving your goal at the right time.
As an added layer of protection, share these notes with everyone present and even those who may have missed the meeting. By doing this, everyone will be at a level of awareness, and responsibility for their work will increase.
The result of speech of scheduling a meeting:
As mentioned earlier, wasting time in meetings is a real problem for many organizations. By preparing the right minutes, arranging meeting resources can become your management art. It all starts with a well-prepared meeting agenda and ends with a list of practical items for your participants.