You have an important meeting with your team and right from the start, you run into a number of issues. Some potholes in your meeting’s path to a smooth ride look something like this:

  • You fumble your thoughts about the reason for meeting.
  • Your team leaves the meeting with more questions than direction.
  • The meeting goes over its allotted time frame.

In brief, your meeting sucks.

Meetings in general tend to suck time and money (studies show about $37 billion is lost in a year across the U.S.) from actually getting things done. Managers have to hold them to move the ball down the field, one play at a time, until you finally reach the goal line. Better management is also about good communication to a group of people.

We want you to be more than just the boss. Be the leader your team needs and deserves. To help, here are 4 must-dos for every manager to have better meetings and thus provide better performances from your employees.

STRUCTURE A MEETING AGENDA

I’ll wager you conducted a meeting with some scratch notes about the business at hand. Consider drafting up an actual agenda with bullet points and a direction for the meeting. Make it plain and no more than a page long. You lose time addressing unrelated issues instead of trying to get things done.

LEAD THE MEETING

We’re sticking with structure here in order to lead this meeting. Think of your role as the moderator to your group being like a town hall congregation. Go action item by action item, provide turns to speak, direct the conversation, and keep moving until you reach end of your scheduled time.

GET THE TEAM INVOLVED

If you planned to talk the whole time and then shell out orders, just save some time with email. Meetings are meant for everyone to contribute. Ask questions to specific team members by name because not doing so will result in awkward silence as you struggle to fill time.

END WITH ACTION

Everyone must have something to do in the immediate- or long-term future or the meeting was a waste of time. If you want to get together for the LOLs, go to happy hour. Meet to figure how to take action! It’s helpful to have a rough idea about how you would delegate roles before the meeting.

Don’t let your meeting suck. Make your meeting meaningful and empowering. This is one very effective tool of employee engagement and performance management if you play your cards right. You won’t go wrong when you go in with a plan first and foremost, take lead, share the wealth and provide action.

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