Meetings at the workplace are a common event for most of us. However, a large number of people don’t realize that meetings have become something that is quite difficult to manage properly and in most cases it hurts productivity rather than nourishing it. Ideally, a meeting should be your last resort when you are absolutely certain it can’t be avoided. The good news is that there are certain things you can do in order to ensure that your meetings are actually productive and you don’t end up wasting everyone’s time. Here’s what you should know:

  1. Keep people in the loop

Surprise meetings are almost always doomed to fail. If you know that you and your team need to have a meeting, let them know in advance. Tell them what the meeting is going to be about and what is expected from them. This will allow everyone to prepare for the meeting in order to be able to make informed decisions and produce relevant ideas.

  1. Be there on time

While this might seem obvious, it is not uncommon for people holding business meetings to be late. You should realize that the meeting won’t start without you so your presence there is absolutely necessary. Be there at least 10 minutes before the meeting and take the time to prepare projectors, printers and whatever else you are going to need. If you don’t show up on time, everyone else will be frustrated because of the unnecessary delay. And once you get people frustrated, you won’t be able to get them to focus on what you want.

  1. Listen

Just because you are the person organizing the meeting, doesn’t mean that you should talk all the time and not give people the chance to explain their views and ideas. Make sure you listen to each person carefully and try to understand what they want to say rather than disagreeing immediately. Instead of dismissing things that seem unrelated, ask questions until you fully understand what is being said.

  1. Stay serious

While a joke or two in a meeting might be acceptable, you should stay respectful to the rest of the people in the room and be serious. Show that you care about whatever you have gathered for. There are also certain things that you should avoid at all costs such as dominating the discussion, interrupting people, personal attacks and sarcasm.

  1. Distractions

While it is inevitable that someone will eventually say something off-topic, that doesn’t mean you should encourage such behavior or behave like this yourself. Avoid distractions by reminding people who have a hard time staying on track why you are having the meeting in the first place and what the goal you are trying to achieve is.

Many successful business leaders use these 5 steps for keeping the productivity of their meetings on a higher level. Try to incorporate these tips in your own meetings and you will see a noticeable difference. If you want to make everything easier in terms of preparation and organization, you can use various software solutions, specially designed for this purpose by innovative companies like Pronestor Room for example.