Do you really need to sit down at meetings? Business meetings can be more effective when people stand up.

Effective business meetingsPsychologists have found that stand-up meetings take less time and can be more productive as when we sit down. ‘When we sit down we tend to relax and we are not so bothered about clock watching and getting things moving’, argues Jonathan Bradshaw, Founder of The Meetology Group. Meetings that take too long can be counter productive and are normally associated with low-energy and distractions. So standing up can be the way to go!

Keep your business meetings focused

One of biggest benefits of stand-up meetings has nothing to do with standing up. It is not that standing up suddenly boosts your creativity, but it just makes you business meetings more effective and productive. Stand up meetings keep the participants focused and on topic. Moreover, they eliminate distractions like phones and computers. Some of the questions that can break the ice can be related to current activities. For instance, you can ask your team what tasks were accomplished the day before, what tasks are scheduled on the current day and what obstacles are impeding their progress. Encourage all the team members to attend, but do not force everybody into coming. If one of the members cannot attend or is late, do not postpone the meeting. The purpose is not to meet, but to improve your team’s activities.

Identify problems on time

Since business meetings are shorter, people are more mentally prepared and more “present” at the meeting. They know they will finish fast and they will be able to go back to their real work. This format of effective business meetings also helps you and your team in spotting the problems of some projects sooner. Instead of meeting every Monday for one or two hours, you could shift to meeting every day for 10-15 minutes. When you start meeting more often, it’s easier to identify problems on time and to take action immediately. Before anyone invests time in a project that lacks consistency, you, as a leader or team-manager, would be able to take action immediately.

Provide fast feedback

Study after study has shown that building only a few items at a time from start to end is much more efficient than mass production. Waiting days or weeks to provide feedback on a presentation your team member is creating might be unproductive. If half of the slides are inaccurate, for instance, it might be too late to make corrections. It’s always better provide feedback on time and to do adjustments early on. Therefore, don’t go weeks without checking the status of your projects. Have a quick stand up meeting to evaluate the progress of a project and push it in the right direction if needed.

The goals of an effective business meeting:

  • Keep everybody on the same page
  • Support improvement
  • Bring focus on the right things
  • Boost team-spirit
  • Communicate internal company matters