Make Meetings More Successful

Posted by on Oct 19, 2010 in Efficiency | 0 comments

Meetings can be separated into three distinct categories: good ones, bad ones, and ugly ones!  Here are some suggestions for preventing the bad and ugly ones:

  • Try as hard as you can to avoid having the meeting.  Can you handle it by sending a memo in an email or having individual conversations?
  • Communicate and clarify the purpose of the meeting.  Set objectives for the meeting.  The more concrete your objectives are, the more focused the meeting will be.  The better you are able to do this, the better your chances of a successful meeting.
  • Have you invited the right people to the meeting?  Are people invited that don’t really need to be there?
  • Assign meeting preparation.  Can you prepare attendees by sending an agenda and materials beforehand for them to review to facilitate discussions and decisions?
  • Be diligent and ruthless about starting and ending times.
  • Don’t allow off-topic discussions.  You can capture these and handle them latter.
  • Designate one person as the recorder so that minutes can be distributed to the attendees.  Everyone else needs to listen and be engaged in the meeting.
  • Establish a plan for action items.  Who will do it?  What will they do?  When will they report back their results and findings?
  • Have everyone put their cell phones and pagers on mute.
  • Don’t allow laptops since you already have a recorder taking minutes.
  • Take charge and keep your meeting moving.
  • Evaluate your meetings periodically to identify further areas for improvement.

Don’t use meetings for the following reasons:
  • Updates.  If you need to update people, send an email instead.
  • Getting everyone on the same page.  This is best done on an individual basis.  Try to find the various reasons for disagreement and what you can do to alleviate the concerns.
  • Motivation.  This is an everyday task and can’t be accomplished in a short one-time meeting.

Meetings are one of the prime candidates in the list of massive time-wasting activities.  Do you have any additional ways to make meetings more effective?  If so please post a comment!

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