Management Matters

6 Steps to Conducting Successful Meetings

Date Posted: 12/23/2013

Here you are setting up a meeting with your team, “Do this, do that…”, “What happened here?”, “I want this done ASAP!” and so many follow ups and to do task for your team, but do you think your meetings really have accomplished something?

To get results from meeting, they must be planned successfully. It requires real management. For a meeting to be effective it has to achieve the meeting’s objective, takes up a minimum amount of time, leave all attendees feeling energized that a sensible process has been followed.

1.  Make Arrangements

Before the meeting, first identify the key employees needed in the meeting. Does every person in the department really need to attend the meeting? Maybe some people can just receive an email summary afterwards? As to setting the time allotment for your meeting, it is a good practice to schedule it for half the time you originally intended. For a two-hour meeting make it one hour; one hour down to a 30 minute meeting; this will help you to just stick to the agenda and not waste a single minute.

2.  Prepare and Distribute an Agenda Prior to the Meeting

Projecting a PowerPoint slide for discussion at the meeting is not goal oriented. It does not give participants time to prepare, think about or study for the meeting. Distributing an agenda along with other relevant material 48 hours before the meeting will affect how successful the meeting is. Your meetings will also be shorter and more productive too.

3.  Define The Meeting’s Objectives

Don’t call for a meeting because you just feel like having one. Make sure there’s a useful purpose behind your meeting:

  • Do you want a decision?
  • Do you want to get ideas?
  • Are you looking for status reports?
  • Making plans?
  • Communicating something?

You should have a clear desired outcome you want to achieve with the participants. So before conducting any meeting, be sure you are focused on your objectives. If it’s a regular weekly or monthly meeting, don’t drag it out. Focus on the most important points you want to achieve till the next meeting and make sure all outstanding matters have been achieved by set deadlines.

4.  Assign Action Items

Assign action items to each person on the agenda ahead of the meeting. Everyone in the meeting then sees the action item assigned. This way, each person at the meeting as well as everyone else sees the action item assigned. There is no room for different interpretations and the person assigned the task is publicly accountable for completing it.

5.  Provide Materials

Identify a meeting facilitator who will circulate in advance all the materials needed like handouts, charts, or prepare slides for discussion, and other reading materials needed. This can really make meetings productive and ensure nothing is missed out in the agenda.

6.  Don’t Waste Time

Time is important to any member in your office. You don’t want to waste their time as well as yours. As much as possible, streamline your meeting and discuss vital items with the attendees – stick to what needs to be covered and the relevant activities needed in the agenda. Keep the meeting short and simple.

Never start late! Too much time is wasted on late arrivals. Don’t wait for latecomers! Being punctual can also gain respect as managers.

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