How to plan effective meetings? Design Thinking!
By Jesse Viana | UX & Content Writer at Monday
It’s very common to feel like our days are filled with endless and pointless meetings, but the answer to this problem is very simple: meetings, in its majority, are not well planned. Design Thinking may be exactly what you need to turn things around!
The lack of previous design — yes, even meetings benefit from design! — can make us feel distracted and upset, and instead of paying attention to what’s being said or trying to solve a specific problem, we wander off.
The big disadvantage can be seen in the long run, as the cost and impact of these endless meetings are keeping its participants away from their assigned tasks, causing them to feel tired or anxious.
According to Harvard Business Review, we spend around 23h a week in these pointless meetings — meaning 40 to 50% of our working time discussing irrelevant topics, getting tired for no reason, and generally wasting our time.
What can be done to avoid this?
Joining the good side of the Force.
By implementing Design Thinking, meetings can become productive, with a planned agenda and with people at the center of the entire experience.
It’s by applying empathy that we can assess what people really need, and with meetings, it’s exactly the same:
— Who’s going to be attending the meeting? What are their needs? Even if they’re not present, in which way can they be affected?
— What are the goals, opportunities, and challenges needing to be faced?
Pro-tip: try and talk with people beforehand! This way you can gather valuable insights from the participants even before the meeting even happened. This way, not only will they feel trusted and seen but it’s a very good way to identify hidden problems, otherwise overlooked.
In addition to this, it’s also very important to set the goal of the meeting and to elaborate its agenda beforehand. Start with something like: what are the expected results? And in which way can they be achieved? — by answering these questions, you’re making sure that the meeting will be helpful, that it has a clear purpose and that the people involved will know why they're there.
Yes, even in shorter meetings! :)
And last, but not least, design the meeting:
— What are the main issues to be discussed?
— What’s the quickest and most effective way to achieve the solutions needed?
— Where do you want to go? And how can you get there?
By preparing it beforehand, it opens space for creativity to rise, for positivity to bloom in the workplace, and it can even be something fun! Another great benefit of doing this preparation is that you can make sure that feedback can come your way, which will translate in:
— More empathy and creativity
— New questions
— increasing the potential of the meeting
The more efficient a meeting is, the better will the attitude of those present be. Win-win!
We know that this could seem like a lot to be done in every meeting, but it’s a promise: the more you practice following these steps, the more natural it will feel to make it an absolute must from now on. The best part? It will save you time! The less pointless and endless meetings you have, the more productivity and fun will rise! The impact will be, hands down, very positive to both teams and stakeholders.
Thank you for reading, and we hope this to be helpful in having a more fun working environment! Let us know how it went! :)
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Monday is a Business Design Consultancy based in sunny Lisbon. We co-create with ambitious leaders to build better businesses. We use strategy & design to transform businesses from within.
This core philosophy stands at the center of everything we create.
Clients include: Mercedes, EDP, Red Bull, Banco de Portugal, Microsoft, Sumol+Compal, Fujitsu, Galp, among others.