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Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye: Tips on How to Make Monday Meetings Less Time Consuming

Finding the right balance between meeting your staff and allowing productivity can sometimes be a bit tricky

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Ever had an employee tell you the office meeting ran long as an excuse for not being able to complete their duties or tasks?

We are in Nigeria, where everyone has a little too much to do, especially during working hours where time is never enough. As the boss or manager, it is your responsibility to see that everyone reaches their maximum capacity. This begins on Monday morning, when there is a board meeting for you to discuss many pressing issues, and plan your goals for the week.

Finding the right balance between meeting your staff and allowing productivity can sometimes be a bit tricky. Here are four tips to help you have a satisfactory and less time-consuming meeting:

Be prepared and make sure others are too
Do you have all your materials ready? Are your points carefully written down? Before going in for a meeting, it is important that you have a mental image of what you are going to say and how you are going to say them. As the boss, you also have to make sure that whoever is responsible does their job and ensures that all necessary parties are aware of the meeting, and are up to date on what is going to be discussed.

During the meeting, make sure you stay on track
It is very easy to get in way over your head and get sidetracked. Be aware all through the meeting process that you have only one job at the moment. Brainstorm on an idea, answer a pressing question, get involved. Check yourself constantly to be sure you are still in line with your intentions.

Is (almost) everyone paying attention?
The purpose of a meeting is to be heard so as to get a positive result. When no one is paying attention to you, nothing is going to be achieved. To have undivided attention, make sure no one is on their phones. Phone calls are not allowed, and use a projector or a spreadsheet to give a clear picture of what you might mean.

Are there questions and are you giving the right answer?
One way to know if people were actually paying attention is through the questions that they ask. Are they insightful, do they revisit the purpose of the meeting? Giving the right answers helps you kill two birds with one stone. That way, you clear doubts or more questions, and you get to cover areas you could have otherwise missed.
No one really loves meeting, but you can make them less time consuming and more effective for both parties thereby increasing the productivity of your workplace.

Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye is a journalist and writer who believes that words are just as powerful as we make them.

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