Meeting Best Practices - Docket

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“Docket has quickly become essential to doing our best work at Studio Science. Meetings are critically important to the services we provide clients, and having a platform dedicated to making meetings more effective, collaborative, and structured is game changing.”

Steve Pruden, CEO at Studio Science

“Docket helps us build better agendas, easily share notes, and follow up on action items. We have noticed our meetings have better preparation and follow through since partnering with Docket.”

Roger Deetz, VP of Engineering at Springbuk

Meeting Best Practices

We spend our day in meetings and hope for them to cancel or run short when we truly need meetings to get things done. Meeting waste has cost businesses in the US and UK over $34 billion which has increased 46% since 2015 despite the technology advances and awareness. Instead of hating and removing meetings from the equation, we should be embracing meeting best practices and turning to effective meeting strategies so we can make better use of our time with others. Effective meetings guidelines can be found everywhere from effective meetings pdf to how to run a meeting pdf as well as many versions of 7 habits of highly effective meetings but look no further for an A to Z list of best practices for productive meetings.

Agenda

Every meeting should have an agenda that is the meeting’s plan, strategy, guide, and map of what needs to be accomplished. Whether it is a meeting for a customer which needs a client meeting agenda or client relationship meeting agenda, or an internal meeting that requires more of a weekly team meeting agenda template, topics for team meetings at work should be organized and prioritized in advance of a meeting so guests can review and prepare for the topics being discussed.

Be Present

If the meeting is local, forego the phone or video call and join the meeting directly. From a first meeting with prospective clients to an organizational meeting, effective business meetings require the best possible communication which is hands down, in-person. Trying to find a way on how to improve staff meetings? Bring everyone together and encourage those who cannot to share their video to make it as personal as possible.

Collaborate

Collaboration is an important element in meeting best practices to ensure everyone is participating to the best of their ability. A great way to encourage customer collaboration is to provide first client meeting questions in advance of the meeting that they can answer and review during the session. And for internal meetings, successful staff meetings can include collaboration through use of a weekly staff meeting agenda template that the team can prepare prior to any meeting.

Decline 

We are so consumed with not wanting to offend, we keep meetings on our calendar when we don’t understand the purpose or why we were invited. Do not be afraid to ask for an agenda and if one cannot be procured, simply decline the meeting. Successful bosses run their most effective meetings exactly like this and sometimes even build this rule into their department’s meeting procedure guidelines. 

Educate and Empower 

We should never assume our team members, teammates, and clients understand how to conduct a meeting step by step. In order to understand how to lead a meeting effectively, one must truly have practice in learning how to run a meeting. Work together to create and define an effective meeting strategies pdf or effective meetings guidelines ppt that can be shared among your team and rotate responsibility to those who do not typically get to lead so they can put these guidelines into practice.

Follow (and Stick to) Agendas and Recaps

If you don’t follow the map, you might not reach your destination. When an agenda is provided, make sure you have business meeting protocol in place that makes it clear that staff meeting topics or other agenda items are followed as planned to ensure topics are covered adequately within the time allotted. 

Give Attention

Want to know how to run a meeting like a boss? Put greater focus on those on phone or video than those in the room. Why? Because being in the room offers a communication disadvantage not only during the meeting but before and after as well. And when it comes to client meeting etiquette, make sure there is plenty of time for the client to share, provide feedback, and ask questions. 

Holiday Planning 

One of the best ways we should be conducting effective meetings is to help people plan ahead! Holidays encourage poor meeting habits when meeting organizers and guests do not plan ahead to block their calendars and requests shifts in meetings to ensure business can still go on. Remind staff and clients of the adjusted schedule weeks in advance before calendars fill up and to find the best time for everyone to meet.

Internet Issues 

No matter how prepared we are with our strategies for leading effective meetings or our client meeting best practices, the internet can be our worst enemy. Always come with a backup plan to demo a product or to take notes so that technology does not keep you from making progress.

Jury Duty 

is not a reason to spring a meeting cancelation on others when you have been notified in advance you may be called for your civic duty. Ensure that staff meeting best practices include a process to notify meeting organizers when a guest cannot attend a meeting as far in advance as possible so other arrangements can be made whether a meeting shift or sending another person to represent at the meeting.

Keep An Eye On The Time

One of the best leading a meeting techniques is making sure to start every meeting on time as well as end it on time. In “Why Starting Meetings On Time Saves Money,” Cameron Herold states it this way.Like the Olympic swimmer, it’s impossible to perform at a high level if you arrive when the gun goes off—that is, when the meeting starts.” Make sure your meeting software like Docket has a subtle yet clear meeting timer to keep everyone on time and dismiss early to ensure everyone gets to their next meeting on time.

Late Is Expensive

Just as shared above, starting on time and ending on time is critical. Want to quantify this? Try this meeting cost estimate calculator

Micro Meeting

Turn long meetings with a large agenda to micro meetings to create a more focused approach with the right people in the room.

No 

Learn to say, “no” when an agenda is not provided and when staff meeting topics overload an agenda. Find ways to ensure that planning is done in advance and prioritizing becomes a natural process so that small chunks of work can be addressed and moved forward.

Organizational Meetings

For anyone learning how to run a business meeting, organizational meetings can seem like a huge responsibility but they are a great way to bring your team together. Get organized with a meeting guidelines template or expand on your staff meeting best practices to ensure a solid plan for the agenda, collaboration, and participation in the meeting.

Poll For Priorities

Work with meeting guests in advance of a meeting to not only find out what topics are of interest for a meeting but also what priority order they should fall. If you do not agree with the priority, it is a great way to open dialogue and understand how everyone can be better aligned on priorities. 

Quickly Recap Decisions

While running a team or client meeting, training participants in good meeting behaviors is as simple as including time for it in your agenda! Save time at the end to run through decisions and actions to ensure alignment. When learning how to run a customer meeting, customers love to hear this verbal recap because they feel heard and have greater confidence in a solution.

Review 

At the start of a recurring meeting, take the time to briefly review the previous meeting. When learning how to run a business meeting, Robert’s Rules provides guidance for tabling issues that could not be resolved so taking the time in the next meeting can ensure topics are not missed.

Share Agendas and Recaps 

Only 37% of meetings in the US use agendas so it is no wonder most people do not feel meetings meet their goals when there were no goals to begin with. Share agendas in advance so guests know if it is important for them to attend and how they can best prepare. Follow up after with shared recaps to align on topics and decisions.

Tasks 

Take time during the meeting to document and assign tasks to an owner with an agreed upon due date which provides an open path of transparency and accountability as well as an audience to handle any clarifying questions.

Use Guests to Scribe

Want to know how to make staff meetings more engaging? Provide or collaboratively build a staff meeting template that the team feels comfortable sharing and enable them to take notes that can be shared among the team.

Video 

When you cannot be physically present in a meeting, make the effort to use your video to make your presence personal. It is easier to engage with someone when you can see their face and know how they are responding.

Whiteboarding

Whiteboarding enables creativity in thinking and contains critical information that shows problem solving, ideas, and other important visuals to help solve problems and build solutions. Any whiteboarding done in a meeting should be archived with the meeting file as a resource. 

Xenial Hosts

Ensure someone is on point to host the meeting so that they can set the tone, agenda, and provide direction to keep the meeting on track.

You Cannot Multitask

73% of people focus on other things during meetings and according to a neuroscience professor at MIT, what we perceive as multitasking is actually rapid content switching but makes us slower to achieve our goals in the end. 

Zoom

Use video conferencing software like Zoom that provides flexibility and consistency so that your guests can quickly and easily access the meeting with as little friction and delay as possible. 

Meeting Best Practices Continued

Meetings can help foster collaboration and create a sense of purpose in the workplace, as well as resolve issues, reduce potential problems related to the flow of information, and promote successful growth strategies. Information sent via emails, memos, and videos can be confusing at times and may take a longer time to comprehend. Meetings, whether in-person or remote, can help clarify the overall goals of a team and help members understand how their work fits into the big picture.

In conducting effective meetings, while the meeting content or agenda is essential, it is the format and quality of meetings that make them meaningful and impactful regardless of their type. That is where meeting best practices can come into play.

The different types of work meetings  include customer meetings to improve market understanding and customer relationship. Other types of work meetings include departmental meetings such as HR meetings, marketing meetings and sales meetings, which can help ensure consistent strategies across various teams and provide a forum for collective problem-solving, learning and development.

In general, the first meeting of the day allows team managers to lay out their expectations and gain agreement from the team on the goals that must be achieved. Some companies may hold an end-of-day meeting to confirm what was agreed to earlier in the day and see if the objectives were met. 

While meetings are necessary to keep employees engaged, identify issues and concerns for insightful business decisions, as well as facilitate impactful discussions, ineffective meetings are considered one of the top time wasters in the workplace.

Just as there are different types of meetings, there are also various methods of conducting meetings. To solve the problem of ineffective meetings and improving meetings with various individuals, clients and teams, a meeting management software such as Docket  can help businesses make the entire meeting process more effective from start to finish.

Docket’s easy-to-use platform can help team managers in planning out meetings, engaging employees, and conducting follow-ups for increased transparency and productivity. With so many different types of work meetings, Docket’s software solution can adapt to any process or workflow and can bring time-saving benefits without the hassle of adding another tool.

Team Meeting Best Practices

Even the most experienced team managers can benefit from acquiring leadership skills for effective team meetings. They can also gain insights from team meeting best practices on how to run motivational team meetings.

Motivational team meetings ideas include outlining specific objectives and identifying concrete steps to achieve them. Team members should be informed ahead of time about what to expect during a meeting so they can get familiarized with the meeting purpose and avoid wasting time. Moreover, managers should keep the focus of team meetings on the entire group and refrain from going off tangent by discussing unrelated topics with individual members.

Creating an action plan – which involves defining the existing situation, identifying obstacles that need to be addressed, and coming up with a detailed plan of action to achieve goals – can make meetings more productive. Finally, managers should make a conscious effort to keep things relevant and avoid unnecessary meetings that may devalue people’s time and lower their morale.

A meeting agenda software such as Docket can help managers in developing inclusive and participatory team meetings. Docket can also enable users to create a weekly operations meeting agenda template, which may include minutes of previous meetings and a breakdown of agenda items for discussion. Docket can also be utilized to come up with useful meeting topics. Meeting participants can have access to the template and add their own points to the agenda, take notes, and send meeting summaries.

Virtual Meeting Best Practices

A virtual meeting is considered an effective form of communication because  participants can access it from anywhere without having to be present in the same physical space. Due to remote working conditions, some businesses have adopted virtual meetings as their main mode of communication with various teams.

When preparing for virtual meetings, having a virtual meeting best practices checklist outlining the steps for preparing, holding and following up on team meetings can ensure that all important issues are properly dealt with. Managers will benefit from looking at virtual meeting best practices and virtual facilitation best practices to make virtual meetings more engaging.

During virtual meetings, using appropriate body language when communicating ideas may help alleviate the feeling of not being in the same physical location as other meeting participants. When having virtual meetings, some experts recommend positioning the camera at eye level and sitting at least three feet away from a laptop or device in use. During meeting breaks, asking participants to do a few stretching exercises can help energize them, particularly during long virtual huddles.

Meetings can be time-consuming and counterproductive if they are not properly managed. Sometimes, using technology with a steep learning curve to bring in remote team members or clients to a virtual meeting may complicate things further. A productive meeting should foster a collaborative environment in which all attendees can participate and discuss ideas before returning to their desks, all amped up and prepared for work. Rather than stalling meetings while facilitators get everything up and running, using technology in meetings should enable users to accomplish meeting tasks faster.

Docket is a meeting intelligence platform that enables users to come to meetings with resources and an agenda at hand. By using Docket, team members can easily collaborate during video meeting conferences and stay in sync even after the meeting has ended. Docket can integrate meeting processes and tools, enabling teams to accomplish more.

Hybrid Meeting Best Practices

Hybrid meetings offer the benefits of both face-to-face and remote participation. Physical attendees benefit from the advantages of in-person communication to relay ideas more clearly, whereas remote attendees enjoy the flexibility of video conferencing, which can bridge the gap between in-house and remote employees while still being able to interact on a personal level. That is why it is important to understand what hybrid meeting best practices entail.

Despite its many advantages, hybrid meetings can also prove to be challenging. For instance, while in-person attendees can use facial expressions and body language while sitting around the conference table together, those attending remotely cannot do so. Furthermore, accomplishing agreed-upon goals and promoting accountability may be difficult.

By leveling the playing field, the challenges of hybrid workplaces can be easily solved. For a successful hybrid meeting, businesses may refer to best practices for virtual team meetings and review their hybrid meeting checklist. For example, positioning multiple cameras from key vantage points in a conference room allows remote attendees to see each person in the meeting venue in their own video frames as well. This may encourage remote participants to engage more during hybrid meetings. Communicating the meeting agenda in advance can allow all participants to review talking points and understand the purpose of the meeting. Lastly, using shared digital notepads can help team members track their tasks to completion and share meeting notes in the same system.

Post Meeting Best Practices

When planning and leading effective meetings, it is important to ensure that attendees follow meeting procedures and protocols, as well as post meeting best practices. Meeting procedures and protocols can serve as guidelines to help meetings run smoothly. Meeting protocols are fundamental guidelines that allow participants to understand what is expected of them during a meeting. Meeting procedures, on the other hand, ensure that each group has an equal chance to express their thoughts, perceptions, and personal concerns in line with the meeting agenda.

When ending virtual meetings, it might be a good idea to spend some time discussing the next steps, commitments, and set timeframes. It is also helpful to take notes during a meeting and be able to share notes with those who may need them.

Effective Meetings Guidelines

Effective meetings training, along with effective meetings guidelines, can help managers transform routine meetings into productive and engaging activities. Moreover, creating an effective meeting checklist can enable managers to design the meeting agenda and conduct the meeting.

To hold more effective meetings, it is helpful to create an outline of the purpose of the meeting with specific goals and objectives. Presenting a brief meeting introduction to clarify things can enable participants to get right up to speed. Moreover, managers must be punctual and specific by informing participants of the meeting duration ahead of time. During meetings, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the meeting agenda, which may include identifying problems, presenting decisions and conclusions, and coming up with possible resolutions.

Businesses may benefit from using collaborative meeting software such as Docket to clearly define meeting agendas, keep a record of important decisions, offer effective meetings training exercises, and facilitate end-to-end integration. Docket allows users to create meeting agendas in advance to ensure that all key points are included. The meeting agenda can then be shared with other attendees, who may want to add discussion topics during meetings. Docket users can also keep track of agendas and meeting minutes in a single platform for easy retrieval.

Effective Meeting Skills

When it comes to rules for conducting a meeting and best practices for business meetings, having effective meeting skills and following the rules for conducting a meeting are some important meeting tips to remember.

Meeting processes can be streamlined by using a collaborative tool such as Docket, which can provide pre-built or customized meeting agenda templates. Meeting agendas are particularly helpful for recurring meetings as it enables participants to review the records of previous meetings. Moreover, using a shared calendar app with a tool such as Docket allows managers to share notes with those who were not present during meetings.

More on Meeting Best Practices

 

For the most part, every organization tends to hold occasional meetings to keep operations running smoothly. Businesses are founded, projects are launched, and teams are formed to reach a common goal or a specific objective. As such, meetings play an integral role in achieving these goals and objectives because they provide a way for an organization or group to regroup, assess progress, and plan for the future.

The success or failure of a meeting can have a great impact on the amount of time it takes for an organization to accomplish the goals it sets for itself. A poorly planned or executed meeting can be a waste of time and distract people from the bigger picture. It can be helpful to keep a handful of best practices for meetings in mind when planning a meeting to make it as productive and efficient as possible.

When considering potential meeting best practices, you may want to look beyond only those that pertain to what you should be doing during the meeting. For many people, an effective meeting checklist does not only include guidelines to follow while a meeting is in progress but what should be done before the meeting happens and after it concludes. With that in mind, you may want to plan out what you want attendees to accomplish before, during, and after the meeting as you go through pre-meeting preparation.

Knowing how to prepare for a meeting can help set you and your organization up for success before the meeting ever takes place. This is why Docket, which is a meeting productivity platform, is designed to give its users the tools they need to appropriately plan, conduct, and follow up their meetings. Here, recommended meeting practices will be discussed along with how Docket can give you ways to adhere to them.

Team Meeting Best Practices

Team meeting best practices typically include guidelines regarding what to do before, during, and after a team meeting. These meetings are normally conducted on a weekly to monthly basis, so the recommendations provided here will pertain to typical, recurring workplace meetings.

The purpose of weekly team meetings is to create a touchpoint to align with your team on projects and campaigns. Topics that may be discussed include, but are not limited to, those related to metrics, performance, news, and upcoming projects. Overall, these meetings will usually involve prioritizing, planning, and bringing focus to the efforts of your team.

Effective weekly team meetings tend to be built upon a foundation of planning. This planning exists in the form of an agenda, which will lay out all of the topics to be discussed, the order in which they will occur, and the amount of time that will be allotted to each section. As you brainstorm your next team meeting’s ideas and topics, consider incorporating sections that focus on reviewing previous work, defining your next steps, and prioritizing important tasks. Even if your meetings do not occur as frequently, these are topics you could still include in a monthly team meeting agenda.

If you are going to be hosting a meeting, you may also want to review leadership skills for effective team meetings. Although the focus of the meeting may be on tasks and goals that need to be accomplished, it can also be helpful to incorporate time into the meeting that is designated for recognizing the successes and strengths of your team. For example, some positive staff meeting ideas could be to recognize individual employees or teams for specific accomplishments, to create a relaxed environment rather than one that is stressful, or to celebrate recent successes of your organization. Doing these things can boost morale and encourage a more positive outlook on team meetings overall.

Business Meeting Best Practices

If you have never hosted a meeting before, you may be looking for guidance on how to conduct a meeting step by step. Depending on the kind of meeting you will be involved in, Docket has a collection of meeting templates that you can use as inspiration. These templates can also give you a better idea of what some common business meeting best practices are.

The importance of a business meeting can vary slightly depending on the position you hold within the business. For example, what an entry-level employee is supposed to learn or gain from a meeting can be different from what a C-level executive is supposed to take away from it. Much of this is based on the subject matter of the meeting, as someone like an executive may receive more high-level information related to strategy for the company as a whole while a standard employee may receive information that only pertains to the work they do on a day-to-day basis.

For the reasons discussed above, the way to construct effective business meetings for executives in leadership positions can include a few new aspects not mentioned in team meetings. Leadership meetings are usually held to focus on strategy and plan future initiatives. With these types of meetings especially, it is important to create an agenda that specifically focuses on company goals, metrics, and outcomes. If not planned ahead of time, these meetings can quickly go off track, leading to an unnecessary focus on tactical issues rather than the big picture.

During business and leadership meetings, it is important to gather feedback from other areas of the organization as plans and decisions are made. This can help ensure that any plans developed are more likely to work well, as prioritizing objectives in a vacuum can lead to crucial perspectives being ignored and eventual failure altogether.

Tips for Running Effective Meetings

As you consider different ways or tips for running effective meetings, there are a few general points that are worth keeping in mind. Docket believes that meetings should not only be a space where work gets done, but where enjoyment occurs. Effective team meetings will be free of redundancy and memorialize results. If participants have developed effective meeting skills, they will come to meetings well-prepared, which means it will be easier for everyone to stay on the same page.

Many well-executed meetings will have agendas that outline effective meetings guidelines. You may want to try to develop an agenda that allows for flexibility and make sure you email the agenda to meeting attendees ahead of time. To host a more productive meeting, take steps to ensure everyone participates and start a timer at the beginning of the meeting so you can finish on time. Finally, once the meeting ends, you can reinforce what was discussed during the meeting by sending a recap to all meeting attendees. This meeting recap should highlight action items or tasks assigned, as well as encourage additional comments to keep the conversation going.

Docket’s meeting platform includes tools that can help you follow these guidelines. For example, you can develop an agenda by starting from scratch, using a template, or using an agenda you created previously. The platform also allows you to host meetings that include a timer, which you can consult to ensure that the meeting is being conducted within time restraints. After a meeting ends, tasks listed in the recap can be assigned to the attendees responsible for them. These action items can be viewed by participants from their own devices.

Docket is designed to enhance every type of work meeting with a flexible framework and options to manage the before, during, and after of your meetings.

Meeting Procedures and Protocols

Now that you have a better idea of what typical meeting procedures and protocols consist of, you are well on your way to being able to easily explain the steps involved in organizing meetings. While the steps can differ depending on the specific type of work meeting being discussed, many of the rules of running a meeting follow a similar pattern across different meeting formats and purposes. Whether you are hosting a customer, HR, marketing, leadership, one-on-one, project, sales, or team meeting, one aspect that remains constant is that there is usually some kind of goal in mind. Hosting a meeting without a purpose or goal is, for the most part, unproductive.

When it comes to how to lead a team meeting or how to host a team meeting, the exact method you use can depend on your style of leadership and your specific goals. Some general guidelines to keep in mind are to make sure you prioritize, plan, and bring focus to your team’s effort during the meeting. Well-planned team meetings can go a long way in maintaining higher productivity in the workplace and achieving objectives in a timely fashion.

Furthermore, do not forget to have a plan for what comes after a meeting. You can have a great, productive meeting in which everyone was prepared, but if there is no direction given on what to do once that meeting ends, momentum and progress could potentially be stalled. You can mitigate this risk and additional confusion by clarifying which tasks attendees will be responsible for completing individually, as well as which tasks will be completed by multiple team members or the entire team. On the Docket platform, one way you can do this is by assigning tasks or action items to participants. This allows you to monitor progress on those tasks and can serve as a reminder for those who have been assigned those tasks.