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Meetings are often regarded as a waste of time. Most people schedule them for one purpose: to gather information. Sometimes, they can be used to align teams and develop new ideas. In other cases, they can be used to discuss a problem or devise a solution.

Being able to run effective meetings is not only beneficial for productivity, but it can also inspire more team collaboration. This can help improve the overall happiness of workers.

Here are some simple yet effective ways to make in-person and virtual meetings more enjoyable.


Create an Agenda

One of the most critical factors that should be considered when planning a successful meeting is the creation of an agenda. This can be done by either having a designated facilitator or by having a summary of the discussion.

Before the meeting begins, assign people roles. Having a dedicated note-taker and a facilitator can be a good start. Also, ensure that everyone has been briefed beforehand so they can prepare for the discussion.


Consider Appropriate Meeting Length

The length of the meeting is also significant. An increasing number of people waiting for the meeting to start can lead to more interruptions and decreased creativity. Getting started on time can help prevent this issue from happening in the first place.


Keep People Engaged

After you have decided to have a meeting and everyone has agreed to attend, it’s time to prepare the other participants for the discussion.

It can be hard to keep everyone focused on the task at hand due to the various distractions that can occur during a meeting. One of these is the use of a mobile phone. Having active listening can help keep the discussion focused on the main objective.

Listening actively during a meeting is a type of behavior that involves taking in the details of the conversation instead of waiting for the other person to speak. This type of listening allows people to feel the presence of the speaker.

Setting the scene can also help encourage others to participate actively in the meeting. Doing so can help keep the discussion focused on the main objective.

Don’t force your team to sit through endless slides, as this can quickly lose their interest. Instead, use slides as an effective tool to help the participants visualize the points that you are talking about.

One of the most important factors that can be considered when it comes to planning a successful meeting is the rule of five minutes. This can be done by establishing a continuous expectation of participation.

Before the meeting begins, make sure that everyone is comfortable and ready to participate. Having a brief icebreaker can help get everyone focused on the main objective.


Make Sure You Include Everyone

Being inclusive does not mean excluding everyone from the meeting. Instead, it means allowing people to discuss their ideas without being judged. An inclusive meeting is a space where everyone can share their thoughts and ideas.

Having different people lead each section or part of the agenda can help refresh the participants’ attention span and encourage them to feel more involved in the discussion. In order to gauge the effectiveness of the meeting, regularly check in with the participants to see if they are satisfied with the meeting.

Since there are varying time zones in which people work, consider allotting some face time for those who are working from home or in hybrid teams. Having a dedicated space for remote team members can also be beneficial.


Give People Next Steps

It’s common for people to forget what’s needed during back-to-back meetings. During these hectic days, it’s vital that you keep track of what’s needed and share it with your team as soon as possible after the meeting. Having a list of all the essential takeaways can help keep everyone focused on the main objective.

The meeting should also be organized with notes and action items. Having these can help everyone keep track of what’s happening in the meeting and share it with their team members as soon as possible after it’s over. Having a summary of the meeting can be very beneficial for remote team members who are working from home. Make sure that any side discussions that were not tabled are brought back to the meeting.

Getting the most out of an in-person or virtual meeting can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to hybrid teams that are working from different time zones. Unfortunately, many meetings ask for too much time from the participants, and it can be easy to get distracted. Having a well-designed agenda and a clear next step can help make the meeting more effective.