Why Don't My Meetings Work? | Effective Meetings at MIT Endicott House

How to make your meetings better

Phtots: The Quiggle Group

Do you know if your meetings are working or not? If you don’t know, perhaps that’s an indication that your meetings are failing to inspire. Do your meetings make more problems than they solve?  Or, maybe worse, it there no conversation to even try to solve problems?

Google event planning, and you’ll find thousands of blogs and articles on ways to make your meetings better. But where is that happy middle ground — that place where things get done and no time is wasted?  Here are some ways to help you get to that place.

Only the Essentials

Ever been in a meeting with 20 or more people? Not only can the people in the back not hear what is going on, but everyone ends up distracted, checking their phones and their watches.  By cutting down on the number of people in your meetings, you can increase productivity and ensure that everyone at that meeting is included and essential to the problem at hand. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a two-pizza rule: If you can’t feed everyone in the room with just two pizzas, there are too many people.  This doesn’t mean you should be bringing in Dominos for every meeting you have, but it’s a helpful guide to know how many people should really be in that meeting.

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Get Out of the Rut

If your employees can recite a meeting structure at your company Christmas party, you are doing something wrong. Every meeting should solve a big problem and solve it in an effective way. Typically, that takes a little bit of creativity on your part, making sure that you have great methods of solving problems and you change them depending on what the problem needs.  For instance, a budget crisis may need a brainstorming session and a sales meeting may need a lecture structure. Don’t let yourself get too comfortable with any one pattern.

Some fun ideas could be to have your interns run the meeting, take the meeting outside or hold the meeting outside of the office — away from distractions.  If it makes you smile because it is silly or new, give it a try. You might be surprised at what you can get out of a new environment.

Same Old, Same Old

Do you keep meeting about the same thing over and over?  If the same problem is taking more than a meeting or two to fix, you might want to check in on what exactly the problem is to solve.  You can’t solve world hunger in an hour, but you might be able to figure out why your cold calls aren’t going through. Keep things reasonable and reevaluate if a meeting seems to be taking up too much of your time.  You and your employees have more to handle than checking in on the same issue for the tenth time.

Take It to the Extreme

If you need to change up your meetings to the point of altering how you do business or your company culture, consider a relaunching day.  Take your team somewhere new and present the new attitude of your meetings. By including a fun activity in a new location, it will be an easier time to adjust to the new ideas and help your team get excited about the new direction.

Contact MIT Endicott House if you want to take your meetings to the next level.  From ropes courses to excellent food, we have everything you need to make your next big meeting something special.