It’s hard to imagine a bigger time-suck than a meeting. That noise you just heard was the collective groan of meeting-weary professionals everywhere. It’s no surprise, given that most of them suffer through more than 60 meetings per month. And more than half of that meeting time is — you guessed it — nonproductive.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Martin Murphy’s book, No More Pointless Meetings: Breakthrough Sessions That Will Revolutionize the Way You Work, offers plenty of universal advice on how to make your meetings more effective and productive.
Incorporate the following five tips into your meetings to improve your team’s idea-generation and problem-solving productivity.
1. Kill the Critique
Nothing crushes creativity and enthusiasm faster than criticism. At the outset of a project, focus on generating ideas and worry about evaluating and fine-tuning them afterward. Think quantity, not quality; you can cherry-pick the best ideas later.
2. Ban the Boss
Politics is often unavoidable at work, and politicking can often derail the stated agenda. If you’re the big boss, you can minimize the issue and improve productivity by having someone else run the meeting.
3. Stand Tall
Whoever runs the meeting should do so while standing. The moderator’s presentation will be more energetic, which will engage everyone in the room. Added bonus: it might even shorten the meeting.
4. Switch the Seats
When the meeting participants return from a break, have them sit in different seats. This will increase alertness and nudge folks out of their comfort zones.
5. Boost the Brain
Instead of energy-sapping foods like soda, chips and pizza, provide healthier, protein-packed options along with veggies and lots of water.
Lauren Simonds is managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com. This article was adapted from “Ten Ways to Run a Successful Meeting,” by Dennis McCafferty at BaselineMag.com.