How to Make Group Decisions & Cut Down on Meeting Times Both In-Person and Online

If there is something I’m sure we all wish could be fixed, it’s the length of mandatory meetings both in-office and remotely. It seems these days that meetings last forever, and it can cut into our productivity. It can also happen that the gatherings are severely disorganized and a group decision leads to more uncertainty and confusion.

We gathered the best tips and advice from experts on how to have more effective meetings while still being able to make group decisions where everyone is satisfied. 

Allow 5 minutes for all participants to speak

Time is everything when it comes to group meetings, but it’s also important to give everyone a chance to participate. Ben Blecha of Hero Braces suggests that you have a time limit to ensure a more efficient meeting. “A proper group meeting should allow everyone to say how they feel about any decision being made. However, you need to make sure you keep a time limit on feedback so everyone has a chance to participate, and to keep the meeting short. Some people like to go on tangents which can really cut into your allotted time. 

Always keep an eye on the time as the manager or have someone assigned to signify when it’s time to move on to the next person. Once everyone has inputted their opinion, you can come back to certain points or group them together, therefore cutting down on meeting times.”

Save questions for the end

Blecha also says that you should save questions until the end for the sake of saving a few important minutes. “Always save your questions to the end of the meeting, and always ensure to have a time limit for this as well. When you answer questions all throughout a group meeting, it can change the whole tone of the meeting and you can easily get off topic. This often leads to another scheduled meeting which is what you want to avoid.”

Ensure you have a detailed agenda & time keeper

Mia Cloud of the Cloud Law Firm emphasizes the importance of a detailed meeting agenda. “No meeting will be a success if it is poorly organized. An agenda is an essential part of any group meeting, as it allows participants to know the topics covered, who is discussing them and how long you have on each topic. This ensures that going over the proposed meeting time is minimized and everyone knows what is required of them.

A timekeeper is also helpful so you can rest assured that you stay within the time parameters you set for the meeting. Anyone who is taking the minutes should also be responsible for keeping an eye on the time, and making sure that the meeting is on time. Townsville solicitors can provide guidance on legal aspects of group decision-making.

Know the decision you have to make in detail before you begin

“All participating members of the meeting should know the decisions you are trying to make before the meeting even begins.” Says Josh Bluman of Hoppy Copy. “Always email the agenda or goal list for the meeting to all members a few days before the meeting. This allows them to read over what is going to be discussed, and what you need to decide upon. Giving people a few days to think about it can ensure you cut down on meeting times as most participants will already know what they want to ask. Once you start the meeting, you can all be on the same page and ensure you come up with a decision within the time given.”

Following this advice can help you to make your meetings effective and timely and ensures everyone feels like their voice was heard. It can be tough to always ensure group meetings are successful, but there are ways to make it happen!

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