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    How To: Achieve mindful meetings

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    Unproductive meetings can waste time – so can they be managed more effectively? The Grand Brighton’s General Manager Andrew Mosley has some ideas on how to do just that…

    Planning meetings is undoubtedly a time-consuming task. And, with our working weeks becoming busier than ever, it’s time to get smart about how we dedicate our precious time.

    In fact, last year a European survey of 2,000 employees in the UK, France and Germany unveiled that the average employee wastes nearly 13 working days every year in ‘unproductive meetings’. So what can we do to ensure that our meetings are managed in the most effective way?

    The Grand Brighton, one of only 31 AIM gold accredited venues in the UK, helps organise and facilitate hundreds of meetings for businesses every year, so we have some suggestions… 

    BE STRICT WITH YOUR TIME

    Before you even attend your next meeting, remember to be strict with your time. If you’ve been invited to a meeting which doesn’t require your area of expertise, or you don’t feel that you’d be best at contributing to the set agenda, then delegate the meeting or suggest re-focusing the itinerary in line with your business priorities.

    ARRIVE EARLY AND BE PRESENT 

    For those important meet-ups, arrive early and set your intention for the meeting before you enter. What do you want to get out of it? What points are you keen to raise with your peers? Having a clear vision of how you want to spend your allotted meeting time will ensure that you’ve done your part in staying on topic.

    SET THE GROUND RULES 

    As a team, set your ground rules for acceptable meeting behaviour. Often, this is as simple as reminding the team that everyone should have the opportunity to speak, but only one person should talk at a time whilst the rest of the group listens mindfully. I also find that implementing a ban on electronic devices is really helpful, as it can be tempting to have your attention focused on your email inbox rather than being present in the room.

    START WITH A CLEAR AGENDA – AND STICK TO IT 

    Remind everyone of what needs to be accomplished in the allotted time. This will give you the chance to go in-depth on each point raised, and ensure that everyone at the table is heard. It’s normal for conversations to wander, but remind the group that any points outside of the agenda can go in the ‘parking lot’ list of discussion for the end of the meeting or your next catch up. At the end of the meeting, re-cap over key actions raised during the session and agree a reasonable timeframe to have these complete.

    ASSIGN ONE NOTE TAKER

    Hopefully your team will be brimming with ideas as a result of your meeting. To keep everyone on the same page, assign one note taker to keep minutes and circulate notes after the meeting has ended. This will help to keep everyone else focused on generating ideas and contributing to the conversation, and ensure that the whole team will work from the same set of actions.

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