“Meetings are usually terrible, but they shouldn’t be.” – Patrick Lencioni
We have compiled a list of common meeting mistakes to avoid to have successful meetings with anyone. Most of these are pretty basic and sometimes, overlooked. But when taken care of, they can drastically improve the efficiency of your meetings.
Not sharing the key information beforehand
The simple step of sharing key information like the purpose and the agenda of the meeting is vital in having successful meetings. Doing so helps participants prepare well and saves valuable time during the meeting. Prepared participants ask better questions and contribute to successful meetings.
Not enough preparation on what to ask
Consecutive to the above point, when participants have access to key information of the meeting, they can prepare for the meeting by researching and listing out possible questions. One of the common meeting mistakes that participants make is not preparing what to ask and wait for the questions to pop up during the meeting.
Be clear about the agenda of the meeting and expected outcome and decisions to make
Agenda leads to the direction of the meeting and is one of the driving forces for successful meetings. There could be various reasons for holding the meeting. When the agenda and outcomes are clear, everyone is on the same page. This simple step can help in avoiding many meeting mistakes and eliminate confusion.
Inviting everyone to the meeting
Nothing wrecks productivity more than being in a meeting that doesn’t require you. This is one of those meeting mistakes that managers as well as meeting attendees can avoid. Managers should invite only those who are required for the meeting and attendees should be able to say no to meetings where their presence won’t make a difference.
Not assigning the action items
What good are meetings if participants come out of it unsure about the next course of action. Unless participants are assigned action items, the meeting outcome and decisions won’t hold much significance. When participants understand the expectations, they are more focused and productive.
Not following up on the action items
Along with assigning action items, it is equally essential to follow up on them. Following up helps in consolidating the tasks assigned to participants, expected outcomes, and the next steps to be taken.
Successful meetings are facilitated by a designated member who ensures that the meetings run smoothly and on track. Not having a decision-maker ruins the whole purpose of having the meeting and is one of those meeting mistakes that should always be avoided.
I believe you could resonate with at least one of these above-mentioned meeting mistakes. I told you, it’s pretty basic and common. Yet, most of the time it is these small things which, when overlooked leads to unproductive meetings. So, the next time you hold a meeting or attend one, do look out for these meeting mistakes.
Also, are you a first-time manager learning the ins and outs of managing people? You might want to take a look at our Definite Guide for First Time Managers.