4 Steps to a Productive Meeting


It’s time to add a new certainty to life. We’ve been limited to death and taxes for far too long, and now is the time to admit our previous failures and acknowledge that no matter how hard we try, our next workplace meeting will not be the most exciting hour (hopefully) of our lives. Whether dominated by an autocratic boss, having the tendency to run minutes or even hours longer than expected, or consistently being viewed as unproductive as the last session of Congress, the office meeting needs a refresh.

Jay O’Connor, CMO of Blue Jeans Network, has provided a list of four simple tips to help keep your co-workers interest, and make the most out of your next office meeting:

Face-to-face interaction is important. With more and more work performed remotely, conference calls have quickly become an accepted form of attendance. Unfortunately, research indicates that face-to-face communication improves business relationships – not only with clients, but also internally. With an increasing reliance on remote teaming and virtual offices, it’s important to interact with your co-workers as much as possible in-person. It probably isn’t going to happen around the water cooler.

Timing is everything. Everyone knows that Monday mornings are an ineffective time to schedule meetings – people are generally thinking about the weekend that just ended, or the pile of work waiting for them to organize for the week. Try to schedule your meetings for mid-day in the middle of the week – the participant’s focus will be more towards work-related issues.

Less talk, more action. Rather than spending a lot of time in the meeting bringing attendees up to speed, effective leaders invest time beforehand, making sure everyone has related documents and emails for review before meeting as a group. Prep work is done in advance, and the time spent together can be used for results-oriented action, rather than catch-up.

Give everyone a voice. Too often non-essential team members are included in meetings for no specific reason. Making sure all participants have a clear role will help optimize time considerations and promotes better engagement among co-workers.

Not every meeting will run as efficiently as your local Jaycee chapter meeting. By implementing the four suggestions listed above, not only will you have more productive, effective office meetings, you may actually enjoy the idea of putting the time to good use. Do you have any tips for improving work meetings? Share them on JCI USA’s Twitter and Facebook pages – we want to hear your suggestions!


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