The number of meetings that take up the average professional’s day can be overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to make sure that your company runs efficient and valuable meetings. As a manager, making sure that your team is present (both physically and mentally) and able to make the most of the meeting time can be a real challenge. Sometimes that means being strict about who can and cannot participate in a meeting. Sometimes that means kicking the right people out of the conference room. Here are four people you should consider excluding to make sure you are running effective meetings.
Punctuality is a strong sign of respect. If attendees are so busy that they’re not able to arrive on time to your meeting, then it’s quite possible that it’s better for them to sit this one out. A large portion of meetings is wasted on giving attendees an extra few minutes to arrive. An equally large portion of meeting time is wasted on reiterating concepts or discussion that has already been covered when tardy participants are able to make it. Simply keep a hard start time and let late arrivers catch up on their own time. Being left out of a couple important meetings will likely make them realize that their late arrival is distracting for everyone and wastes other people’s valuable time.
This one should be an obvious choice, but if you find yourself trying to run a meeting while someone is on their phone – that person should be somewhere else. Whether they decide to take a call or catch up on their email mid-meeting, they are not able to actively contribute to the meeting and are more likely to distract other participants than to contribute meaningfully to the group discussion. Consider requesting attendees to silence their phones and leave their devices in their pockets. Reiterating the need to act respectful and engaged during meeting times will help make the most of everyone’s time, including the individual who believes they should constantly be multi-tasking during meetings.
Chatty Team Members
Team members who are having their own conversations within a meeting space are both disruptive and disrespectful to other people’s time and attention. Let them know that they are welcome to take their conversation out of the room and save everyone the time and distraction so the group can get back to business. Remind the group that this is a group discussion and if they have something important enough to discuss with the entire room, then they are more than welcome to speak. Otherwise, they should be excused.
People who are quick to criticize but slow to contribute their own original ideas are another team member that can be worth showing the door. This is particularly true in meetings designed to facilitate brainstorming or idea generation. You want contributors to be front and center in any group environment. The critical voices with nothing positive to contribute will only drag your team down.
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