Five steps to running the most effective meeting possible
Meetings are important and necessary, we all know that. They help organizations to establish the strategic direction and lay out the vision for the future. They are, in many ways, crucial. They are, however, incredibly time-consuming and disruptive if used excessively, too.
We are going to list five steps on how you can improve your meetings without frustrating the flow of workforce in the office.
- Make your objective clear.It is rarely a good idea to call in a meeting with a “status update” on the agenda. Meetings need to have a clearly defined purpose and objectives. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to get feedback on how you can improve internal structure? Is it a brainstorming session in relation to the big project that the company got? Decide it beforehand.
- Consider who is attending. Before calling up a meeting, think about who really needs to be there. Only invite people who are affected by the announcement or can make a difference on the matter. Be very selective – if people feel the meeting is not relevant to them, they won’t see any value in it and you will simply end wasting their time.
- Stick to your schedule.Once you have established the list of attendees, send out an agenda, laying out precisely what you are intending to cover in the upcoming meeting. Provide a timeline for eachitem, and allocate time to each person in the meeting. Once the meeting commences, make sure to go through the agenda again and put it up on the screen or board. This will ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Punctuality.People’s time is valuable. If you can consistently organise for your meetings to start and end on time, people will be much more willing to attend them in the future. Make it a priority to follow theaforementioned agenda and try not to deviate from it too much. Look out for people, who like to “hijack” a meeting to push their own agenda, as it can side-track what otherwise could be a productive session.
- Follow up.It is not uncommon for people to have different perceptions of the same event. To make sure everyone is crystal clear on what to do, email a memo to everyone who attended a meeting with the list of takeaways from the meeting and the action plan. Don’t forget to list the responsibilities given, tasks delegated, and any assigned deadlines.
Meetings can be an incredibly useful tool at your disposal if you use it right. The problem is that many people don’t. Don’t be one of them, follow the steps and your staff will be eternally grateful to you.