Is it time to implement SMART Meetings at your office and stop the insanity?
First of all, meetings are a notorious time waster for any number of reasons and often have a bad rap. This is the case because the group gets off topic, someone talks too much, or people arrive unprepared?
Here are five tasks to implement for SMART Meetings from this day forward!
SMART Meetings task #1 STICK TO AN AGENDA
This means you need to create an agenda. Next, make sure you send it out to people 24 to 48 hours before the meeting. This allows participants ample time to adjust the agenda before everyone comes together.
Many times, meetings last far longer than they should simply because people get off topic. Make sure your agenda includes specific action items and overall goals that establish the reason for the meeting.
Remember these points:
- Create the agenda
- Include specific action items and overall goals
- Email 24 to 48 hours before the meeting
- Adjust the agenda before everyone comes together
SMART Meetings task #2 MANAGE TIME
Are your meetings starting and ending on time? Have you attached a time to each focus area so you keep the meeting moving and avoid individuals spending too much time disagreeing?
Try having a meeting where everyone stands the entire time. You will find that your meetings become focused and much quicker. Implement the parking garage method to “park” ideas and thoughts that get the team off track.
Don’t forget to:
- Start and end on time
- Attach a time to each focus area to keep the meeting moving
- Avoid individuals spending too much time disagreeing
- Stand the entire meeting for focus and speed
- Use the parking garage method to “park” ideas and thoughts not on the agenda
SMART Meetings task #3 ASSIGN ROLE
Everyone becomes part of the meeting. It is disrespectful to have someone conducting the meeting, while everyone attending is in their own world either texting or emailing the entire time.
This shows the participants that the speaker is not worthy of their time, and in the end, meetings last longer than they should. Be an active participant and know how your role can contribute to creating a more productive meeting.
- Everyone becomes part of the SMART meeting
- Focus on the speaker vs personal texting or emailing
- Be an active participant and know how your role contributes
SMART Meetings task #4 BRAINSTORM
When you allow the team to brainstorm, they get better and better about feeding off each other’s ideas. Although you may feel that one idea is not useful, oftentimes it creates a spark with someone else for a much better idea. It also starts to create a powerful bonding opportunity with the team.
Have fun by:
- Feeding off each other’s ideas
- Increasing excitement
- Bonding with the team
SMART Meetings task #5 TEST FOR CONSENSUS
Nothing is worse than to leave a one-hour meeting to find out days later the team is not on the same page. You can never get that hour back.
- What does the team agree on
- What does the team not agree on
- How can you meet in the middle
By following these suggestions, you will have a more productive SMART meeting, save yourself time, reduce stress, and save the company money. Do not forget to always keep your meetings SMART!
Author, Trainer, LifeDesigner® Melinda Smith, CPO® organizes, optimizes, and implements action plans, training, and consulting. Great referrals are Entrepreneurs, executives, and companies looking for a sustainable change with work, home, & you. Melinda has worked with companies and individuals for over 20 years conducting workshops across the East Coast. Including over 60 cities in 19 states. Focus topics were on Strategic Thinking, Teambuilding, Organization, Balance Strategies, Stress Management, and Embracing Change. Melinda was one of the first 200 in the nation to achieve a Certified Professional Organizer status and is a graduate of the Western School of Feng Shui (pronounced feng shway). Melinda has owned Balance & Harmony 360², Inc., since 2003 and is the author of The Complete Guide for Balance & Harmony OWL (Organize With a focus to Liberate) Kit that includes a book, workbook, F.O.C.U.S. Journal, and five products to systematically organize Work, Home, and You.
For more on Melinda’s training, books, consulting, advising, and speaking options, as well as where to purchase, visit:
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