5 Unexpected Ways to Keep Meetings Productive

Written by:

Mallory Files, Goodmaker & Business Development Manager

Branches Mission Lab

Meetings during a normal business world were hard to keep focused, intentional and productive.

But now that we have COVID those objectives have basically gone down the drain. We all have a new normal, a new standard as to what we hold ourselves accountable for. For some of us, that new standard is just getting on that 2pm Zoom meeting.

For those of us with that goal, I hear you and I see you. It’s ROUGH out here. Over the last couple of months, I have compiled a list of helpful hints that our team has come up with! Here are a few tips and tricks on how to keep those Zoom meetings focused, intentional and productive. 

1. It all starts with the invite

Before the meeting even starts, give it some structure when sending the invite out.

  • What are you going to be discussing?
  • What are the objectives?
  • Is the call link in the invite so it’s easy to find?

Also, only invite those that are essential to what is being discussed. The more attendees, the less productivity. It might add a little extra time to think through these things, but it will help the meeting remain intentional, focused and productive.

2. FOOD.

Yep. Food. Have a snack or even something to drink that gets you excited.

For me that is a diet coke, La Croix or a coffee. Having something to eat/drink during a meeting, especially if that meeting is through your computer, is critical.

The food or drink gives you a small but impactful way to help break the meeting up a little bit and stay focused.

3. Transparency

Now that we are looking through computer screens, it is so difficult to read people’s body language, tone or “vibes.” That is why honesty and transparency are key.

Our motto is “keep it honest and real.”

Keeping it real keeps the meeting productive. 

4. When the meeting starts…

When starting the meeting, outline what should be discussed and have someone keep the meeting accountable.

If there is something that needs to be addressed in a separate meeting, or someone gets going on a tangent, then find someone (even if it’s you) that is willing to call it out, in a respectful way.

5. Be personable

It is so easy to want to get on and off your Zoom meeting as fast as you can, but during this time it is so important to take a few extra minutes and ask your peers how they are doing personally. It is our instinct to go straight into the purpose of the meeting.

The Branches Team starts every meeting off with:

  • High (professionally)
  • High (personally)
  • Low (professionally/personally)
  • Buffalo

Yep. A Buffalo, which is a random that brings you joy, or you can make the buffalo anything you want when running the meeting!

These 5 things can really change the way you have meetings. Let us know if you have any other tips. We would love to hear them!

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