The Secret To Running An Effective Meeting
Meetings are often a complicated beast. Valuable time can be wasted instead of providing fresh insight and communication. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are a few meeting tips and habits to create effective meetings: H2: Create an Agenda First on the list is the agenda. This crucial precursor to a meeting allows for effective direction control and time management. The agenda can take many forms, an email with a list of points for discussion, a whiteboard with topics, or even a simple introduction at the start of the meeting. The agenda gives your meeting direction and purpose and provides a framework to structure your discussions around. Benjamin Franklin’s much-quoted phrase
‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’
is the motto to live by.
Location, Location, Location
A change of scenery can be both invigorating and inspiring. If you your employees or delegates seem tired or uninspired in the company meeting room, then look to a different venue. An academic venue, café, the great outdoors, or even a bar can help loosen people up and provide a refreshing setting for effective board meetings. Remember to follow up and gather opinions on the choice of venue to see if the change of pace was constructive.
Time Management is Key
Meetings that don’t have a set start or end time are destined to meander and wend. Using the clock is essential whether it is managed by the meeting leader or a designated time keeper. Managing off-topic discussions is another important aspect of time management. Use the ‘Parking Lot’ system or even a ‘Stand Up’ meeting to manage this little time stealers. The ‘Parking Lot’ system works by taking points that are off-topic, writing them down, and then attaching them in the follow up correspondence for further discussions. ‘Stand Up’ meetings are great for team meetings allowing a space free of the stuffiness of formal spaces whilst the lack of seating gives members impetus to speak their piece and move on.
Attendants- Less is More
When considering who to invite to your meeting be ruthless. Fewer people require less time, planning, and cost making for more effective board meetings or team talks. A meeting is a place to make decisions and not simply share information so only invite the people directly involved with the project. Even adding two unnecessary employees to a 30-minute meeting will result in a loss of an hour of company time. By reducing the size, you can also limit the interference of groupthink and ensure attendees provide their own specialised insight.
Follow Up is Essential
Finally, the follow up is all important. Taking notes of points and decisions discussed in the meeting should be organised into a document and sent to all the attending members. A good follow up document will provide evidence of time spent, a handy summary of what was decided, and gives the attendees direction as to where to go next.
By using these habits, you can ensure more effective meetings with less time loss. The three phases of agenda, meeting, and follow up are integral to communication and will ensure you, your employees, and your employers will see the benefit of this important business practice.