How to Conduct a Productive Meeting

There is a spirit of collaboration at UMBC among students, staff, and faculty that remains dynamic through well-thought out meetings. To conduct a productive meeting takes some planning. In this article, we explore ways that you can make your next meeting run smoothly and productively.

A productive meeting can add to the success of a workplace. Collaboration is important for not only the individual, but the team as a whole. Therefore, establishing a good method for running a meeting will benefit everyone involved.

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Make the Meeting Meaningful

Craft an agenda that centers around specific objectives. Essentially, by preparing, everyone will understand the meeting’s purpose. Time is valuable to everyone, so ensure you come armed with a game plan,  especially if you want to minimize the amount of meetings you have. Furthermore, be sure to gather all materials ahead of time and test equipment prior to the start of the meeting.

Keep Track of Timing

Firstly, enforce the importance of showing up on time. If you specified start and end times or called for a “quick, 30 minute meeting”, you need to stick to your word. Albeit, all meetings can easily run over the set time, especially when the discussion requires deep analysis. Secondly, to avoid running over too much, outline each discussion topic and include an estimated time for each. Bottom line, plan the meeting to control unnecessary overtime.

Invite Only Those Who Are Relevant

Understand everyone’s roles and how they contribute to the objectives of the meeting. If not connected to the objective in some capacity, don’t ask them to come. Inviting them may slow productivity.

Limit Use Of Devices for a Productive Meeting

A meeting is supposed to achieve results, be that in gaining ideas or insights. In order to increase the chance of feedback and discussion, have a no phone/laptop usage policy, if that technology isn’t needed. Distractions are everywhere, and the more you can decrease them, the more productive your meetings will be.

Document the Meeting

Task someone to take notes of everything stated so you can track progress as well as refer back to unresolved aspects. Ask for volunteers or appoint someone. Generally, notes should be clear, concise, and accurate. Once reviewed, the meeting notes can be shared with everyone so consistency and tasks generated from the meeting are clearly communicated and understood.  Reviewing the material discussed will help the team remain on the same page and offer reflection outside of the meeting.

Encourage Participation

Finally, to create more participation, create an encouraging environment. Start with casual conversation about everyone’s current projects and recent activities. Engage people throughout the meeting to keep their motivation high. You can do this by keeping the mood light and open.

If you’re looking to boost your professional credentials, consider a master’s degree or graduate certificate from UMBC’s Division of Professional Studies. Our programs offer applied learning that you can take directly to your office.

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