Meetings are starting to get a bad rap. A Harris survey for Clarizen reports 46 percent of employees would rather do anything other than attend a status meeting—8 percent said they’d prefer a root canal. Regardless of your feelings about them, meetings are necessary to coordinate and collaborate. But, before you book yet another room and conference line on autopilot, consider meeting in whatever way is best for your goals.
Check-ins are ideal for a focused and quick conversation. Skeptical? These are more doable than you may think. Harvard Business Review recommends keeping them to 15 or 30 minutes whenever possible.
Book a brief check-in if you need to:
- Cover quick updates, discuss feedback or get simple group input.
- Meet for an informal 15 minutes with 5–25 people.
On-the-fly ad-hoc meetings allow for teams to touch base on something in real-time, often without much planning. According to Business Insider, these types of meetings are not only on the rise, they can be more productive than traditional meetings. Ad-hoc updates can be both in-person or attended from multiple locations. For smaller groups (three to five participants) consider instant messages. For larger groups or those needing deeper collaboration, conference or video calls are ideal. Want to be even more efficient? Explore screen or document sharing and collaboration solutions to work in real-time.
Consider an ad-hoc update if you need:
- An unstructured way to ask quick questions.
- Real-time project updates.
- Team-based connection with 3–15 people.
Brainstorming is great to get high-volume ideas to later distill and present to decision makers. Whether in person or virtually (video call is recommended), prepare a space for people to share ideas in a constructive and judgment-free way. You never know the direction a brainstorm will take you—that’s sometimes when the best ideas surface.
Schedule a brainstorm session if you need:
- Many new ideas at once.
- A variety of opinions and points of view.
Whether you’re meeting in a conference room, boardroom, auditorium, with a virtual audience or a combination, traditional doesn’t mean boring. Leverage these meetings to deliver strategic messages. If you’re reaching a virtual audience or both on- and off-site stakeholders, explore virtual meeting solutions that allow for the same level of participation, no matter how (and from where) they’re joining.
It’s time for a traditional meeting if you need to:
- Reach a larger audience (30–10,000 participants).
- Present information (versus collaborate).
- Limit and structure audience participation (i.e., Q&As, overall sentiment, etc.).
Regardless of the meeting type, take the time to create an agenda, share it with your team beforehand and stick to it.
Hold the right kind of meeting
Get better results and show your employees you value their time by selecting the right meeting type. For online meetings, Skype for Business can keep everyone on task and informed. Also, check out The Ultimate Meeting Guide to learn everything from preparing for and running a successful meeting to incorporating technological tools that enhance productivity.
These resources can help you create the best possible meetings for your organization: