If “time is money,” then what does that say about meetings? Harvard Business Review heard from 71% of senior managers that meetings are unproductive and inefficient.
While meeting organizers manage the agenda, minutes and communicating follow-up tasks, participants have a shared responsibility to ensure they are prepared for the meeting. Meeting preparation ensures you get the most of a meeting and positions you to make informed decisions.
1. Confirm You Need to Attend Oftentimes people are added to meetings as an FYI but they do not have a contributing role. If the agenda topics are not directly relevant to you and you will not be able to add to the discussion, consider opting out and catch up by reading the minutes after.
2. Review the Agenda Ahead of Time Spending even 10-15 minutes reviewing the agenda and attachments will put you a step ahead of others. It will get your mind thinking about questions and discussion points, and ensure you are informed for making decisions. If the meeting organizer does not share the agenda far enough in advance for you to review, ask them to start doing so.
3. Take Notes When You Review the Agenda For especially important meetings where a decision is being made, consider printing the agenda and meeting materials or use a tool like OneNote to jot down your thoughts, questions and feedback. Doing this will help you remember your ideas.
4. Suggest Agenda Topics Be a collaborative participant in the pre-meeting process by suggesting meeting topics to the organizer.
5. Participate in Pre-Meeting Discussions If your company uses a collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams or the like, start discussions before the meeting based on notes you took on the agenda and attachments. This will engage other attendees and encourage them to also prepare better.
Active meeting preparation will bring more value to the meetings you attend and help you be an engaged participant during the meeting.
Are you a frequent meeting organizer? Read our blog post for tips on being a productive meeting organizer.
Decisions Can Help Decisions helps both meeting organizers and participants have more collaborative, engaging and productive meetings. Download Decisions today from Microsoft AppSource.