May 8, 2015
There are many benefits to having a meeting. They allow you to share information, problem solve, gather different ideas, accomplish goals, and build relationships. Leading a productive meeting will allow you to accomplish more in less time. Here are a few tactics to follow to make your meeting focused and worth your participants’ time:
Make sure your meeting has a purpose. Meetings need solid objectives that are clear and achievable. Before you schedule a meeting, determine what needs to be accomplished.
Create a purposeful meeting agenda. The agenda should state desired outcomes. Distribute the agenda a few days prior to the meeting, so that participants know what to expect and can be prepared to contribute. Make sure to preface the length of the meeting.
Invite the right people to participate. If you need to make a decision, make sure that your decision makers are present. If you want a brainstorming session, consider people’s expertise and job function before extending the invitation.
Timing is important. Think about the energy levels of your participants if your meeting is held right after lunch or after normal business hours. Always start and end your meeting on time. It’s important to be respectful of attendee’s schedules and commitments. Give yourself enough time at the end to wrap up the discussion, summarize action items, and thank attendees for their participation. If you don’t accomplish everything on the agenda, schedule a second meeting.
Set ground rules up front. At the start of your meeting, let participants know that they should ask questions, share ideas, be respectful and stay on topic. If you feel that the meeting is getting off track, your ground rules give you permission to direct the group back to the agenda.
Do you use these or any other tactics to lead an effective meeting?