THEY EXIST! ALL ABOUT PRODUCTIVE AND INTERESTING MEETINGS
Legend has it that somewhere on earth there are productive meetings. Their participants do not sleep, but generate ideas, and the time of gatherings is measured not in hours, but in minutes.
For many, useless meetings are a sad fact to accept. The coach of Moscow Business School does not agree with this! How to make a meeting an interesting and productive process — read below.
Tatyana Kuvshinnikova, expert practitioner in the field of sales, specialist in management technologies, conflict management and negotiation techniques
Managers are paid high salaries not for long discussions and meetings in the negotiation rooms. However, a huge amount of their time is spent on meaningless conversations and reports.
You need to prepare for the meeting, select its participants, set goals, and sum up the results. Let’s look at all aspects of the meeting in detail: how to improve each stage of the process and make everything work for the result.
IS IT REALLY NECESSARY TO HAVE A MEETING?
You have a problem that needs to be solved. Is it possible to do this without a meeting? Of course!
Is it really necessary to have a meeting?
Here are the options:
Discuss the topic over the phone
Hold a conference call — a telephone conference, the participants of which are divided into two parts. Someone has a two-way connection (they can listen and talk), someone has a one-way connection (they can only listen)
Send an email newsletter
Delegate decision making to another employee
Formulate a goal, consider various solutions, and only (!) if there is an objective need, hold a meeting.
SETTING A GOAL
— What’s going on here?”
— We don’t really know what’s going on here. There’s a meeting scheduled for tomorrow, so we’ll figure out what’s going on here.
Setting a goal
A huge number of managers do just that: “There is a problem, we are going to think together.”
The boss must have an idea of what result he wants to get from the participants. The more specific the goal is, the better!
Develop an algorithm for interaction between departments
To create a strategy to increase sales
Determine the company’s commercial or marketing policy
If the result is quantitative, it must be digitized: “Develop a strategy to increase sales by 15 % in rubles for the next quarter.” If the result is high-quality, then there must be a standard: “Develop an algorithm for interaction between sales and marketing departments similar to the current algorithm for interaction between sales and purchasing departments.”
SMART technology is the most successful goal setting model. Specificity, measurability, achievability, relevance, and time constraints. If the Manager learns to think in these categories, it will be much easier to hold meetings.
WHO ARE THE PARTICIPANTS?
One of the most important conditions is that everyone has something to say at the meeting. That is, everyone has information, is competent in some part of the issue and can speak out on the problem.
Who are the participants?
Often in the meeting room gather all who can. Someone has a very remote idea about the issue, but still voices their point of view, because this is a meeting!
Example from the coach’s practice:
“In one of the companies where I worked, the administrative Director was called to all meetings, because “she should know what decisions are being made.” This was an active and assertive girl. As a result, the meetings were delayed for a long time, as everyone was engaged in an argument with the administrative Director, who did not really understand the situation.”
EVERYONE’S OPINION IS IMPORTANT
Hares were hunted foxes. The hares went to the wise owl for advice. She says: “Become hedgehogs, they are not hunted by foxes.” Happy hares went home, but on the way realized that they do not know how to do it. We returned to the owl, clarified. She answers them: “I’m a strategist, and you ask me some nonsense.”
Everyone’s opinion is important
In the case of the anecdote is in the business gathered top management, developed a strategy. It reached the performers, and it turned out that it was impossible to implement it for objective reasons. Now someone will say that the price of such tops is a pittance, but believe me: this is a very common situation.
Each participant in the meeting will be a consumer of the result. Therefore, the greater the number of offers modeled by participants, the greater the probability of the most optimal result.
PREPARING FOR THE MEETING
Before the meeting, you need to create an agenda and send it to participants for preparation and division of responsibilities. Otherwise, the meetings will turn into a discussion of subjective opinions. When making decisions, you need to rely on facts and Analytics, and not on the points of view, even if they are competent specialists.
Issues on the agenda should be ranked in order of strategic importance. Then, in the event of a lengthy meeting or force majeure, you will have time to consider and solve the main problems.
THE BEST MEETING — THE ONES FROM THIS MORNING
We solve strategically important tasks in the first half of the day, when the body functions most actively. Everyone has their own work schedule, but my experience shows that even owls are best at solving problems in the morning.
The day of the week is not so simple. On Monday, the body recovers from the weekend, and on Friday it prepares for them. Therefore, it is better to schedule meetings for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
INDICATE THE TIME OF THE MEETING
According to my observations, the optimal meeting time is from half an hour to an hour. Then people get tired and start sneaking about their business.
The most important thing is to warn everyone about the duration of the meeting and the allotted time for each stage of the meeting. 15 minutes for speeches, 15 minutes for discussions, 15 minutes for brainstorming, and 15 minutes for making a decision.
Everyone should know that the meeting will not last longer than this time, and there are restrictions that must be observed. This mobilizes even those who like to talk.
CONTROLLING THE MEETING
Ideally, the discussion process should be monitored by a moderator. It knows the meeting algorithm, understands the types of negotiators, and tracks the amount of time allotted.
There are participants who provoke conflicts at the meeting and prevent a constructive dialogue. They need to be isolated from the General meeting as much as possible, placing them in an inconvenient place. If this is not possible, try not to react to their outbursts and often remind them of the purpose of the meeting.
A common problem for managers is their inability to sum up meetings. In the best case, they do it in a streamlined way, in the rest — nothing.
You must find a person who will keep the minutes of the meeting. For each decision, indicate the responsible employee, deadlines, and expected results. A copy of the Protocol should be read and signed by all participants, so that in the future there will be no moments when someone is misunderstood. Finally, a copy of the signed Protocol must be brought to all responsible persons.
Don’t forget to thank people! It is very rare for bosses to say “thank you” to employees for their time, and very wrong: gratitude motivates them to work productively.
Moscow Business School wishes you a productive meeting! All the most interesting things remained behind the scenes: at her seminars, Tatyana Kuvshinnikova reveals the secrets of time management and productivity improvement. The trainer offers a new look at the usual work processes and make the most of them.