Making your meetings as productive as can be

With workers across the UK spending the equivalent of over 10 million hours every day in meetings in offices up and down the country, we thought it helpful to test productivity. Do you know when you’re being your most creative or productive self in meetings? Many would answer ‘yes’ to that question, but are they really right?

Putting productivity to the test

Associate Lecturer in Consumer Behaviour, Patrick Fagan and Radisson Blu teamed up to investigate people’s level of engagement in various meeting scenarios, and the results were surprising. We tested the productivity level of participants in various meeting situations and when questioned, they claimed their performance did not differ across the different environments. However, their actual performance data did not support this. It was discovered that participants had no idea when they were working as their most creative and productive selves, and the results prove it.

radissonblu brainbox productive

Our study, The Psychology of Meetings, thoroughly outlines the results which showed us that we need to help change the way people think of meetings and events, and guide them towards better results.

Top tips for productive meetings

A great meeting experience starts with you. Be inquisitive and involved, curious and contemplative. Don’t just show up, show enthusiasm. To help you optimize your meeting experience, here is a list of questions to help you, help yourself.

10 Questions To Stop Bad Meeting Habits

  1. Do you commit to back-to-back meetings? (If yes - when do you go to the loo or how do you get to the next meeting? Can you teleport?)
  2. Do you think critically about which meetings you accept and don't accept? (If no - do you not value your time?)
  3. When you're in a meeting can you say with conviction: "I am confident that this is the best use of my time right now."? (If no - why aren't you doing the thing that is the best use of your time right now?)
  4. Are you engaged with what's going on in meetings? (If no - why are you there? What do you want to be engaged with right now? And why aren't you doing that instead?)
  5. Do you arrive on time to meetings? (If not - why not? Are you not blocking out 'travel time' or 'break time' into your calendar in the appropriate slots before your meetings so you can set yourself up to get to meetings on time?)
  6. Do you insist that you have been presented an agenda (either written or oral) - and preferably outcome-orientated - for a meeting before you accept it? (If not - how do you know that that meeting will be worth your time?)
  7. If you *are* in the habit of reviewing the agenda to any given meeting before you confirm your attendance, do you exercise your option of attending only part of the meeting that is relevant to you? (If not – are you waiting for Microsoft to create a button in Outlook that says ‘Accept – but only for portions of the meeting’?)
  8. Do you think intelligently about how much time you need for a meeting before you schedule it? Or do you automatically use the time options Outlook presents to you? (30 min, 1 hour, etc.) (If you do the latter - why let a piece of software influence your decision-making around how much time you need?)
  9. Have you sat down with your boss / your team and gone over the list of regular meetings you're attending to see if the list can be pared down at all? (If not - are you happy to let your environment dictate how you spend your time without at least thinking critically about it?)
  10. Can you answer 'yes' to this question for every meeting you attend: Am I adding value or getting value from being here? (If no - is your time so valueless that you can afford to spend it in places / situations where no one is benefitting from your presence?)

These helpful tips were compiled by Vanessa Kettner, a productivity expert at Personal Best.

Radissonblu Manchester Brainbox

Radisson Blu hotels in Ireland and the United Kingdom offer meeting and event facilities which are well-equipped with all you need for productive gatherings of all kinds. We like to think of your success as our success, and we take pride in making your business more pleasurable and meetings more productive with innovative solutions and impeccable service.

Start planning your next meeting or event now!

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