7 keys to making meetings productive according to science | Photo Galleries

Photo Gallery. A survey conducted in the United States among workers found that 47% of those interviewed considered that “too many meetings” were held at work and that this meant the greatest loss in production time. Although it is an investigation that was conducted in 2012 by the payroll company. .

Faced with this reality, Stephen J. Rogelberg, a professor at the University of North Carolina in the United States, where he is a professor of organizational and management sciences and psychology, is the subject of his book The Amazing Science of Meetings. It’s work based on studies, company surveys, and success stories that provide elements of how to make meetings really useful.

Here are the keys it provides to avoid unproductive business meetings that lead to wasted time.

1- Realize that everyone can be the problem

The expert recommends that organizers be aware that, even if they like the meeting taking place, not all other participants think the same. Citing his research linking meeting satisfaction with participation, Rugelberg says that meeting leaders often have a very positive experience compared to attendees because they talk so much.

“If you talk a lot, you are more likely to think that the experience of the meeting was good,” he explains in the book. To break this bias, leaders need to look beyond their assumptions and directly ask attendees what they think of meeting structures, Rogelberg advised HuffPost.

“Don’t assume the meeting is working. Take a three-minute survey with people who regularly attend your meetings about what’s going well, what’s not going well, and what I can do better,”

You should also analyze the behavior of the attendees for evidence of what they are not saying out loud to you. “If there’s one person in that room who’s completely controlling you, you’re probably not running a good meeting,” he says.

2- Ask yourself if you really need to have a meeting

Nobody likes going to an hour-long meeting that might be email.

Nobody likes going to an hour-long meeting that might be email. This procedure wastes everyone’s time, and time is a scarce resource. A study by Bain & Co. That weekly meeting with middle managers costs the company about $15 million annually.

To avoid this, the expert said, think carefully about why you are hosting a meeting. “One of the things I advocate is that a leader can think of their agenda not necessarily as issues, but as questions that need to be answered,” Rogelberg says. He suggests, if your meeting is primarily aimed at distributing information, make use of other communication tools.

He says meetings are useful when you’re looking for information, such as asking questions and needing feedback.

3- Don’t use 60-minute meetings by default

The specialist urges defying the convention that the meeting should last one hour. In his book, Rugelberg points out that when calendar programs such as Microsoft Outlook were introduced, 60 minutes was the default.

But reducing time can actually increase performance because you tend to work better under certain pressures, according to a psychological principle called the Yerkes-Dodson Law. The expert recommends saving valuable employee time whenever possible.

4- Make sure that remote employees do not feel that they are anonymous

Technological advances, the use of which has increased especially during a pandemic, make it possible to hold a meeting even when the two parties are many miles apart. But this also has its own set of problems. Rogelberg recommends that remote employees turn on their cameras and not only hear their voices. “We want people to realize that they are not anonymous,” he says.

When people feel they can be indifferent, they can fall into a certain indifferent situation, “a human tendency to reduce effort and motivation when working together,” as Rugelberg describes it in the book.

To make remote employees feel included like attendees in person, meeting leaders should ask people to identify themselves before speaking, so contributions are labeled, Rogelberg says. They can also show contributions that come through messages in communication services like Slack. “The meeting leader should fully embrace his role as an air traffic controller,” he adds.

5- Meetings should consist of a small number of participants

Rogelberg’s recommendation is to reduce crowding in a meeting by considering who really needs to be in that meeting and who needs to stay informed but not part of it (Getty Images)

Rogelberg’s recommendation is to reduce crowding in a meeting by considering who really needs to be present at that meeting and who needs to be briefed but not part of it. The number of people can vary, of course, and Rogelberg notes that Google recommends no more than 10 people. Amazon has what it calls a “double pizza rule” to keep gatherings below the number of people that can be fed with pizza.

“There is no magic number per se, because it depends on what you are trying to achieve,” Rugelberg says. “Once meetings start to get bigger than eight people, the necessary facilitation skills have to be really high. And most people don’t have those skills.” Keep those who don’t show up informed by providing meeting minutes with what was decided, says Rogelberg.

6- Brainstorm separately or silently

For your next planning meeting, try to use silence to your advantage and ask people to silently write down their thoughts before sharing them, says Rugelberg. Other meta-analyses have found that virtual brainstorming can increase creativity compared to face-to-face brainstorming. When you write your idea, you may be able to speak more freely without having to wait for one person to finish speaking or without fear that your unpopular idea is not as good as someone else’s. “When people verbally brainstorm, only a limited number of people can speak at a time,” Rugelberg explains.

7- Know when the meeting will end

Don’t feel like you have to let a derailed meeting run out of time. “It’s OK to end the meeting if it’s completely disruptive,” says Rugelberg. Honestly, it’s okay if that leader says, You know what? Why don’t we stop here? We’ve been able to cover this, this and that. “

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