Find out how to run a meeting effectively with simple life hacks from leaders like Microsoft's Satya Nadella will help you get the most value from your time.
Meetings are a crucial part of all our workdays. Whether that's an official team meeting or an impromptu conversation in the hallway, we have important conversations on a daily basis. A study has averaged that we have more than 20 conversations or meetings per day! That's a lot of time we're investing in communication, relationships and collaboration. So, how do we run an effective meeting?
In fact, researchers estimate that companies in the US alone waste at least 37 billion every year in lost productivity due to poorly organized meetings.
Today, we'll look at how the leaders from some of the largest companies in the world like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon or Facebook run a meeting? It pays to study and learn from the meeting styles of successful business leaders because they take back-to-back meetings on a daily basis. So, how do they minimize their inefficiency because if they can't afford it, neither can we!
And there are several reasons for this inefficiency. We all know what to do to constitute a 'good' meeting.
It's not just how we meet, it's what comes after that creates inefficiency. A good meeting can save dozens of follow-up emails, prevent major miscommunication, and even give birth to moments of creative magic.
This is actually 2 of Satya Nadella's, Microsoft CEO, 3-step meeting method. Apart from being able to listen better when you talk less, this also creates a nurturing atmosphere that encourages collaboration when you run a meeting.
There are several ways to ensure you are listening:
The worst meeting I've ever attended was on where a senior member of the team talked for 20 extra minutes at the end of the meeting on a tangential point. The whole team was equally inattentive and just done listening, but nobody had the courage to speak up.
This doesn't mean that you call for a mutiny, overthrow the facilitator and reclaim the meeting room as new land. Being decisive means that you know when to step into the conversation and if you run a meeting, how to keep things moving forward. While it is important to listen more, at the end of the day, you need to assign tasks, keep the conversation on point and ensure follow through for better outcomes.
You're in the meeting for a reason and hopefully, it's not a 'Dinner for Schmucks' situation. So, if you're presenting, get passionate about your idea! No one else will champion your views, topics or expertise, so if you want things moving in a certain way, fight for them!
Of course we all want respectful workplaces, but what we mean here is don't compromise on things you believe in. It's also not enough to know what's important, but you have to be able to articulate why it's important and then convince the rest of your team.
The way Google does this is with data. Every suggestion or point is backed up by numbers so they can validate and quantify everything they do and it's been working well for them!
This means that before you run a meeting the right priorities are defined.
"We're doing this because we have a passion about it...because we really care about the higher educational process. Not because we want to make a buck."
This also means that you don't need to wait for a meeting to make a decision. Have a mico-meeting to avoid senior decision makers becoming a blocker for the rest of the team.
But it's not always the ongoing meeting that derives value, how you end your meetings also matter.
At Notiv, we understand how intimidating it can be to visualize the long road ahead of us. That's why we end our meetings with some inspiration. It's important to us to take some time to look back at what we've accomplished and to use that as motivation for the road ahead. Apple celebrated their 90th day of business, when was the last time you celebrated how far you've come?
While Google backs their decisions up with data, Amazon relies on the power of storytelling instead. While on one-hand this can prompt attendees to craft detailed meeting memos, it can also leave your team directionless before the meeting. Amazon prizes memos because they give the organizers a chance to better communicate the concepts to be discussed. Attendees can also read, collaborate and improve the work ahead of time, creating team alignment and focus.
We've all rocked up to that important meeting where, despite your best intentions, you're simply not well-prepared. Perhaps you just got off a flight, had a big night out or watched the final season of Game of Thrones.
As a meeting organizer, it's inevitable to have attendees who simply aren't ready. But instead of punishing these members, or risk them 'faking it till they make it', Amazon instead has instated a mandatory review of the meeting memo at the start of the meeting. This method not only assures the undivided attention of the team, it helps discussion or team leads prepare a final time. It's also great team practice because it values and places importance on the time, expertise and effort required to put those memos or agendas together.
Review is also important after a meeting. What was said, what was discussed and what needs to be followed-up on immediately?
Assigning a note-taker can help with the review process but this is often a major source of inefficiency. With human note-takers, your team is subjecting itself to the biases and limitations of that one person. If they missed a crucial point, the whole team collectively shares in that loss. If everyone is taking their own notes, the team risks misalignment, miscommunication and lots of time spent after the meeting decoding notes and chasing up information.
Why take the L?
By using an AI meeting assistant, you remove that dependency and inefficiency relating to human jobs.
We all have many jobs to be done in our lives:
Some are little like making coffee in the morning;
Some are big like creating a human being;
Some surface unpredictably like a spare outfit at work because you got drenched in the morning;
Some regularly like packing healthy school lunches for your kids.
However, the menial post-meeting tasks shouldn't be something we have to contend with anymore. There are tools, like Notiv, available for the discerning professional. Tasks like taking detailed notes while engaging in the conversation, or organizing and disseminating meeting minutes can take hours, when they should only take minutes.
Tools like Notiv help users capture the full conversation, context and rich detail;
Transcribe the conversation for clarity;
Analyze the meeting to highlight important moments;
Segment the data for a quick review of the information;
And support collaboration and dissemination of the meeting notes!
If you want to Meet Better, it's not hard to implement some of these life hacks into your workflow.
Have you already tried one or several of these meeting hacks? Or do you have something you want to add? Let me know in the comments below!