Are You Making These Meeting Mistakes?

September 13, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

Meetings are necessary for productivity in any workplace, including veterinary practices. But it can be easy for team meetings to get off track. Here are five common meeting mistakes to avoid.

It can sometimes be hard to choose who you invite to meetings, but it’s an important factor in meeting success. If you invite too many people, the meeting’s purpose can get lost. If you invite the wrong people, the meeting ultimately may be ineffective.

Meetings should be the time and place for team members to discuss a specific topic. If employees can’t hear their own voice over the other team members in the room, they may tune out entirely.

Just remember: Ensure that meetings are productive and easy-going by keeping the attendee list small and specific. Think about departments or people in your practice who work together on a daily basis or have similar job functions.

2. You hold too many meetings.

Another way to go overboard is by having too many meetings. While it’s important for employees to break from the daily routine on occasion, breaking too often may be unproductive.

Just remember: Have a set schedule of meetings — weekly, monthly, yearly or whatever works best for your practice — and stick to it.

3. There are too many distractions.

Cellphones, TVs, computers, tablets — all these technological assets provide a great deal of distraction in our lives. So, it may be the best to remove the option for distractions during team meetings. Advise employees (and yourself) to be on time, not to bring food or drink into the meeting room, and to leave all their distracting technology in another room for the time being.

Just remember: If team members want to take notes, provide them with notebooks and pens to record what’s talked about at the meeting.

4. You don’t have meeting agendas.

Help keep everyone on point by providing meeting attendees with a written meeting agenda. It doesn’t need to be extremely descriptive or detailed — just an overview of what you’ll be discussing at the meeting. Agendas allow your team members to be able to prepare for the conversation and also to think about anything related that they may want to bring up at the meeting.

Just remember: To keep meetings on track and on time, you may want to include on the agenda how much time you have allotted for each topic.

5. You monopolize the floor.

You’re the one holding the meeting, so you’ll obviously have a lot to say to your team members. But you shouldn’t be the only one speaking. As noted above, meetings are the time and place for employees to express themselves to everyone else in the room. Make sure people don’t tune out while you talk by inviting them to talk, as well.

Just remember: Open the floor at certain points to questions, comments and concerns about the topic at hand. If time allows, at the end of the meeting open the floor to concerns about anything outside the discussion.