How to Hold an Effective Meeting
Most people who own a business, or have been in a busy business environment for some time, might think of running a meeting is easy. However, there are so many levels of running a great meeting that you might not be prepared for how to do it well. Running an effective meeting is not merely just standing at the front and talking to people; it’s getting feedback and really getting into the meat of the issue.
And chances are you have been stuck in a bad meeting once or twice in your life, and they seem to drag on forever.
Here are some quick tips so that once you all sit around the conference table, you are ready to go.
You should know what you want to talk about when you want to talk about it and how deeply you need to go into that topic. This seems like an obvious thing, but many meetings start with a topic but not a clear sense of purpose.
A plan can keep you all on the same page, as well as keep you on time and moving along.
You also need to think about who is attending your meeting. Does your whole team need to be there, or just a few key employees to whom it is relevant? When holding meetings with customers, are there other team members that can benefit from being present?
It’s important to always consider who actually needs to be there and who doesn’t in order for your meeting to be productive. With meetings such as regular board meetings, it could be important to occasionally carry out a board review to determine whether certain people on your board need to be replaced. As for meetings involving sensitive subjects, there could be times when multiple one-on-one meetings are better.
Set a start time and an end time. Try not to place your importance of time above anybody else’s – but also set a value on your time, and understand that other people have many other things to do. Meetings that don’t seem to have an endpoint can feel like they drag, and when that starts to happen, you will lose the attention of the people you are talking to.
Once you lose their attention, you may as well end the meeting there and then.
It also sets a sense of discipline, you arrive ahead of the meeting time, and you prepared to leave at that time. Making sure that any other booked calls are before or after that time.
In many cases, it can be worth using software and online tools to organize meetings and keep everyone on the same page. You can find specialist tools like Aprio board portal that can allow you to schedule meetings, as well as sharing relevant documents ahead of the meeting. Software is typically more accurate and easy to edit than relying on paper notes.
At the end of every meeting, you should aim for everybody to leave with actionable steps.
What do they do now the session has ended? If a person attends a meeting and leaves with no actionable steps but instead just has an update on a project, that’s fine, but did they need to attend our meeting to hear that?
Think about the information that really needs to be done face-to-face and what people will get out of that meeting.
Everybody must know what they need to do and when they need to do it. This will keep any of your projects ticking along nicely. And finally, you should always have space for questions.
People should ask questions that relate to the project, and specifically their part of it, like who will do what and by when?
If everything hasn’t been covered, that question will come up plenty, and it means that next time, you need to work on your efficiency of delivery.
Meetings should always have a purpose. Many meetings are booked, especially now on zoom, without a specific purpose instead just to check-in, which actually eats into time people could be using to get their work finished.
How to Hold an Effective Meeting
Categories: Outside Contributors
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