Customer Experience News & Trends

Stop wasting 25% of everyone’s time with 10 ways to plan better meetings

For every department discussion or client meeting, about 25% of the time is wasted — time that could be better spent improving the customer experience.

About 15 minutes of every meeting is wasted, according to recent research by Robert Half Management Resources. It’s often wasted on idle chat, doughnut eating, latecomers, pointless conversations and off-the-agenda items.

Fortunately, you can make your meetings more productive if you stick to these 10 better-meeting rules from business and communications expert Chad Carden:

  1. Make a plan. The point of the meeting can be set in two ways: Create an agenda and use words like “decide,” “plan” and “choose” to convey action.
  2. Get to the point. Administrative information should take up no more than two minutes.
  3. Keep it lean. Large groups aren’t historically productive. Only invite the people included in your action steps – decide, plan, choose, etc.
  4. Spread responsibility. To ensure everyone participates — and doesn’t have time to daydream — assign roles and responsibilities for different agenda items.
  5. Schedule appropriately. Plan meetings early in the day or just before lunch, so you’re sure people will work to get things done and have them end on time.
  6. Avoid boring things. You don’t need meetings to go over forms and policies. Adults can read those — and sign off on them. Spend meetings doing things, not reading things.
  7. Focus on solutions. Meetings are meant to resolve problems. But no problem should be presented without potential solutions. That way, there’s no time to point fingers or dwell on the past. Instead, you move right into solution mode.
  8. Do fun things. Take at least five minutes at every meeting to give kudos or share success stories.
  9. Learn. Spend another five minutes passing on one good tip attendees should to put into action as soon as they leave the room. Even better, choose one that relates to the action items.
  10. Summarize. Make it someone’s responsibility to track what was decided and assigned, then review it before everyone walks out.

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