Improving Meetings With People Management Techniques

Difficult conferences have long been the object of several pop-culture references. Often, these exact humorous incidents are replicated in real meetings. For example, a boss who forces employees to be present during a five-hour conference that could be done in a shorter time, or a HR doing the same to reiterate company policies instead of doing it by email. It is due to these reasons that meetings must be conducted by using people management in conferences to ensure productivity and efficiency.

Firstly, it can help tremendously to be time efficient in meetings. Research shows that the capacity of a person’s concentration lasts from 6 to 8 minutes. Therefore, holding meetings occurring in segments is preferable to long-drawn ones. This gives employees the time needed to reflect and come up with out-of-the-box ideas and simultaneously ensures the speaker that their focus is on the actual meeting. Additionally, consider the possibility of some meetings being conducted remotely. Remote meetings have proven to be highly efficient contrary to conventional beliefs especially after the Coronavirus crisis, and therefore employees are already aware of how to be efficient.

Perhaps the most notorious reason for inefficiency is disarray and confusion due to uncoordinated efforts. When the person who organised the meeting is acting as both the chair and the moderator, it can give rise to several issues – for example, others may not want to intervene and give their suggestions, too many people talking over each-other, etc. Often, employees feel uninterested because it seems as if they are present just to be informed of what proceedings will take place but cannot give their own input. Therefore, having a moderator can ensure that participants serves many benefits such as staying on track, and developing conversations point by point, time management and dispute resolution. This person should exist along with the chair of the meeting to facilitate and develop the interaction. To further improve efficiency, the same person or another participant can send a detailed plan of the discussion to participants beforehand which would include the objectives, points to address, already thought of solutions etc., and with each having precise time slots.

Holding meetings in unconventional places such as in the common room or office lounge after important topics are already discussed can be a great way to cut through the monotony. The human brain is wired to separate conversations based on different locations, and this can be used as an advantage to improve concentration and focus.

The goal of business meetings is to come to a decision efficiently, not to tolerate it and wait for it to be over. By using people management in conferences, office conferences can reach its’ optimal efficiency and keep participants engaged.

References :

  1. The People Management guide to meetings, May 24, 2018, People Management.
  2. Leadership Summits That Work, March 3, 2015, Harvard Business Review.