boardroom tables

Sitting round boardroom tables doesn’t need to be boring!

Why doesn’t anyone like office meetings? We’ll tell you why; because they are often huge wastes of time that could be better spent at our desks. Meetings are something of a necessary evil, in that, without them, teamwork would be much harder. Unfortunately, due to the lack of effectiveness of the people running those meetings, not many people actually value or enjoy this time spend in conference.

If you’re planning to gather your team around the boardroom tables soon, here are our top tips for running a more effective, more connected and more productive meeting.

Get the written agenda out in advance

Having a vague notion that you’re getting together to discuss a topic is a situation that’s already destined to fail. Set out on the right foot by preparing an agenda and sending it out in advance. Break down the overarching topics into sub discussions, so that everyone can plan and prepare for what’s on the table.

Make sure the right people can attend

If you’re getting together to discuss something that involves certain people, do make sure they are all able to come along before ploughing on with your meeting plans. There’s nothing worse than having what could have been a productive discussion punctuated with cries of ‘that’s Dave’s department’ or ‘I’ll have to ask Jane about that’. Get the right heads committed and on board before going any further.

Run the meeting by the clock

As the meeting coordinator, you need to take charge of managing the time during the meeting, otherwise it’s bound to become unfocussed and unproductive. Ask everyone to arrive five minutes early, and allocate a time limit to each item on the agenda. Worried that you’ll be in the middle of an important discussion when the time runs out? The next tip could be a game changer for you!

‘Park’ ideas that require more discussion

If a couple of colleagues are in a heated discussion around the boardroom tables but you’re running out of time, use the ‘parking’ strategy to assist you in keeping on track. Similarly, if someone has wandered off topic but it seems to be something that needs discussion, ‘park’ it for now and follow it up later. Include your ‘parked’ items in the circulated meeting notes, and make suggestions for exploring those topics at a later date.

Follow up your meeting

Following up the meeting is a vital component to ensure a successful outcome. It should be done swiftly, while the meeting is still fresh in people’s minds, so allocate time that afternoon or early the next day to complete any actions, to write up the minutes and to send them out to the attendees. If you said you would find things out, make sure you do, or if you promised to forward particular documents, ensure this is done too.

Running an effective meeting can be easy if you’re prepared to take control and manage your time well. Preparation and follow up are almost more important than what happens around the boardroom tables for that hour, so invest your time in making things work well from start to finish.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 21, 2018 at 10:11 am

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Random Glossary term

  • Interlock

    A device used to lock two or more drawers together e.g in a pedestal / filing cabinet, so that only one drawer can be open at a time to prevent the cabinet tipping forwards onto the person opening drawers.

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