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How to make the most of your next office meeting

In our technology-revolutionized times, the “old-fashioned” office meetings are often considered as unnecessarily and time-consuming events that constantly don’t lead to any specific positive outcomes and rarely result in the discovery of important problem solutions. The office meeting can have different meaning for entrepreneurs than for other business executives because of the distinctive, flexible and modern understanding, which applies in the startup culture of every startup.

How can entrepreneurs make the meetings with their team less stressful, more efficient and productive and still keep the unique approach of their startup culture? There is no only one simple answer to this question and everything can differ from startup to startup, but there are some things that an entrepreneur can do to make the office meeting interesting and still effective for the team.

Be specific

When organizing the meeting, make sure that everyone knows what the meeting is about and is prepared for it. The startup office meeting doesn’t have to be going on for hours. Make sure that everyone knows what is on the agenda and is ready to talk and to listen on the matter. Be specific with the agenda to avoid confusion and to get straight to the point.

Remember the purpose

Startups in constant growth are always having so many things going on every day and it is almost impossible to stay on just one subject when everything seems so urgent. There is always something else that needs to be discussed “right now”. This constant urgency extends every meeting more than usual and often leads to many discussed topics and no solutions. Remember the purpose of your meeting and don’t rush into the subjects and you will have better and more efficient meeting results.

Preparation matters

When you are planning to call an important meeting and you have set the agenda, make sure that every person from the team has the right information as well. Send everyone memo and relevant information ahead to prepare them on the subject and save time with explanations at the actual meeting.

Timing is everything

For successful meetings, entrepreneurs need to think of the right time to organize it: for some businesses the beginning of the day is perfect, others prefer to do it in the afternoon, third sometimes bet on the out-of-office meetings. It is up to you where you and your team will feel more comfortable, but make sure that the meeting starts on time and finishes on time. Being precise about the timing is important which can save all of you a lot of time management troubles.

Be focused

Meetings are essential for the successful team building, the following of the projects and the direction in which your company is heading. Make clear that all distractions have to be avoided when you are in a meeting and the focus of all attendees must be on the topic. Eliminate distractions for yourself and your team members and you will have better and more productive office meetings for sure.

Brainstorm ideas

Brainstorming is one of the most creative approaches that you can take up in an office meeting. It is fun, it is personal, it is great for team building and it is really, really efficient. Include some team brainstorming and it is more likely to discover some very great ideas and problem solutions just from an ordinary meeting.

Follow up

Try to follow up with the tasks that you’ve handed after every meeting. You are to save yourself some time and effort and sometimes even an extra meeting with managing the team and following the projects progress by using some great team project management apps. If you still don’t have a favorite team management app, you can find some good suggestions here.

─ January 27, 2015