Meetings are a necessary business function if we want to keep people informed and provide a forum for questions and problem solving. But who hasn’t sat through a meeting that went on too long, was not well-organized, or didn’t pertain to your particular job?
Here are some keys to planning an effective meeting:
· Have a clear purpose, and only invite those who have a vested interest in that purpose
· Choose to cover 3-5 key points.
· Create an agenda and publish it in advance so people are prepared
· Have an intended result with which people can align
· Start and end on time!
· Stay on topic! Save other topics that come up for future meetings.
· Keep minutes of the action items, assignments, and delivery dates. Make sure everyone gets a copy of the minutes.
If you hold regular meetings with a group of managers, rotate the meeting leadership every week. Give everyone a turn to lead and develop the meeting agenda. By rotating leadership, meetings become more cohesive and efficient. People listen differently when they know they have to lead the next meeting. Everyone becomes more invested in the process and respectful of each other’s time.
Ask questions to provoke thought and group involvement. Call on specific people instead of just asking for general questions or input. Lead with enthusiasm for the topic and be committed to a result that works for the group. Give everyone an opportunity to participate in the decision making that arises from the discussion.
Use these tips to shift your next meeting into a powerful, effective experience. Good meetings build good teams, and good teams win the game of business/life.
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