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Last Updated on May 7, 2020

How to Run an Effective Meeting: 10 Simple Ways

How to Run an Effective Meeting: 10 Simple Ways

Effective meetings are one of the ways of discussing and solving problems not just in a company but in any organization. Be it the boss or the employees, anyone can contribute and speak.

Although meetings are necessary tools for productivity, some meetings just do not work out and end up wasting other people’s time and energy.

There are simplified methods and techniques for running an efficient and effective meeting.

Here are 10 simple tips on how to run an effective meeting:

1. Define a Clear Purpose for the Meeting.

Before calling for a meeting, you must first ask:

Why and what for?

A meeting will only be effective if its purpose and goals are met, whether it’s resolving a dispute between employees or discussing a company crisis. This also involves reaching a certain outcome, and this outcome is most likely related to the purpose.

A clear purpose must be planned before sending out the invites to the involved people.

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2. Invite Only the Necessary People.

Having only the necessary people is another step towards an effective meeting.

Does the purpose of the meeting have something to do with the network security of the company? Then invite the head of the IT department.

Does the purpose of the meeting have something to do with the future of the company? Then invite your boss and the employees involved.

Consider only the people necessary for a meeting and then send out the invites to those people. That way, you will not waste other people’s time and productivity.

3.  Create a Final Schedule and Stick With It.

Create a memorandum for the meeting along with the important details such as topics to be discussed, venue, start and end time, and the people involved. Then, send the memorandum to the necessary people via email or place it on their desk.

Do not wait for people who are running late, and start the meeting on time. This may not be easy at first, especially if you are the lenient type. But you’ll realize that this is important not only for you but for other people as well.

People will be more comfortable with a meeting if the agenda is laid in front of them. This will also lessen trivial matters such as unnecessary introductions.

4. Do Not Allow the Use of Smartphones or Tablets During Meetings.

It is hard to compete for the attention of people, especially when they are using their phones or tablets.

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Multitasking is already a problematic thing in itself, but it’s worse when you have to compete with devices specially designed to catch people’s attention. Research shows that multitasking between different media results in poorer information processing and lower performance and productivity.[1]

To ensure that they will be focusing on the agenda, ban the use of smartphones and tablets so that each participant’s focus is only on the meeting.

5. Assign a Moderator for the Meeting.

Even though you are the one who plans the meeting, this does not mean that you are also the moderator.

You should think about if you are the most suitable person to moderate the meeting or if you think that someone else could do it better. Don’t hesitate to assign other qualified people to be the moderator for the meeting.

Of course, the moderator should be someone who knows how to run an effective meeting. The moderator should also act as a timekeeper and watch the correct flow of the meeting, making sure the agenda is on track. Chances are, the meeting will be more successful this way.

6. Have Fewer but Better Meetings.

Rather than calling a meeting every time there is a problem or dispute in the company, find other ways to resolve those problems.

There are many alternatives to meetings that are more effective and efficient than having suboptimal meetings. Sending an email or talking to the responsible people are just some of the ways through which you can opt out of meetings.

If you call in as few meetings as possible, the participants will be more enthusiastic about attending. You must ensure the quality of your meetings, and you can do this by avoiding unnecessary ones.

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7. Separate Eating Time From Meeting Time.

Doing other things during a meeting will decrease your attention, and this includes eating. So, thirty minutes to an hour before the meeting time, declare an eating time. This will ensure that people will not eat during the meeting, which then avoids further distractions.

During the meal or eating time, everyone can eat and make small talk. But during the meeting, everyone should focus on the agenda at hand and brainstorm together.

This way, you can follow your plan, dedicate your attention to fulfilling the purpose of the meeting, and manage your time wisely.

8. Spend the Last 5 to 10 Minutes Reviewing the Decisions and Actions of the Participants and the Overview of the Meeting.

A clear understanding between the participants and the purpose of the meeting must be met before the end of the meeting. This ensures that everyone had their queries satisfied and their contributions included.

The moderator should clear up any disagreements between participants before the end of the meeting, and they must come up with concise solutions to their problems. It is important that everyone absorbs what was discussed in the meeting.

9. Send a Follow-Up Note to Every Participant.

The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.

-Chinese Proverb

Every participant has their own problems outside of the meeting. This is why some people often forget some things even if they’re important. To ensure that people will remember what was discussed in the meeting, send a follow-up note via email or leave it on their desk.

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10. Send Out an Evaluation Sheet to Every Participant.

We must admit that not everyone loves the idea of meetings, and for those outliers, we must find ways to ensure that they will be comfortable whenever they are included in a meeting.

Some of them won’t say what the problems are if asked directly, so an evaluation sheet is a handy tool to get feedback from those types of people.

Check the feedback of the participants, incorporate requests of the participants into the next meeting, and change any process that causes discomfort to the participants. You must ensure the safety and productivity of the participants during meetings.

Final Thoughts

Meetings are important, but it doesn’t mean that they are always productive. It is important to first learn how to run an effective meeting before expecting success.

Remember that an effective meeting is a process where everyone must cooperate.

These 10 simple tips on how to run an effective meeting will surely help you become a better leader and teammate. Now go ahead and incorporate these tips into your daily meeting routine and let the productivity flow.

More Tips on How to Run an Effective Meeting

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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Last Updated on July 2, 2020

13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them

13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them

In life, we encounter problems as we breathe. But it doesn’t get to us until we feel a major impact, and that’s when it becomes a source of concern, hurt, or sorrow.

Life problems, depending on their magnitude, can be clogs in the wheel of progress, and we may not be able to attain our full potential if we don’t learn to place our problems in the proper perspectives as suggested in Robert Schuller’s Tough Times Never Last.

In this article, I have identified some common areas where you will most likely face problems as you make progress towards reaching your full life potential. I have also suggested practical approaches in handling, managing, and solving such problems.

1. Financial Crisis

We live in an uncertain world and a financial crisis may come at different stages of life. While you should always anticipate and prepare for a financial crisis, it may still catch you off guard or the magnitude may be far more than any preparation you have made over the years.

It could be that you lost your job or a major investment, got slammed with a lawsuit that threatens your savings, or have your livelihood be affected by a major disaster. So what do you do when you are in a financial mess?

Solution

To overcome a financial crisis, you will have to come to terms with the crisis. Acknowledge and accept the situation and begin recovery by setting your financial priorities right.

The next thing to do is to identify the cause of the crisis. If it’s due to a job loss, then your effort should be directed at getting a new job. If it is having multiple debts, look for ways to consolidate your debt so that your monthly debt repayment can be consolidated into one instead of being burdened with multiple payments.

You can also sell some of your assets to raise money to save the situation, or look for a better job if you are earning less at your current job. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends if you need to.

2. Health Crisis

Another major problem that might come up in your life is a health crisis. This is not far-fetched because our body systems work round-the-clock, even when we are sleeping. As a result of this, and if you don’t maintain routine health habits, health deterioration might begin to set in. Things might even get serious if you don’t attend to it early.

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Solution

When you are facing a major health crisis, the first thing to do is to consider lifestyle changes. This includes cutting down on junks, eating healthy diets, exercising, breathing fresh air, taking some sun, etc.

Apart from the lifestyle changes, you have to seek quality medical help and make sure you get different opinions about the state of your health so you can get the best affordable care.

3. Relationship, Marriage, and Family

There may not be anything as sweet as love and family life, but it can also be the source of pain for some. Human imperfections in a relationship can cause a major crisis in life. This has been a stumbling block to many on their path to fulfillment.

Solution

The best thing to do is to prevent relationship problems from happening, but if they do happen, you need to face reality and begin to take steps towards addressing them. Do your best to keep the lines of communication open as this can help in strengthening your struggling relationship. Talk about the challenges with your partner and look for common grounds.

You can also arrange to see a counselor together or read books that address the specific challenges you are facing. The worst thing you can do is to end a relationship and that’s only when you have exhausted all other options.

4. Workplace

The workplace is supposed to be a place where we dutifully render the services for which we’ve been hired.

However, it is not impossible to face animosity at work—dealing with toxic people who would rather not see any good in what you do. It might be caused by differences in background, attitudes, and unhealthy competition that can result in personal conflicts. This can create undue stress and reduce productivity.

Solution

Be as professional as possible when dealing with toxic people. Be kind and show understanding, and try to avoid personal confrontation.

You can even try to reach out to the persons and invite them over for a coffee and get to understand their worldview. This can help you to connect with them at their level so that you can avoid unnecessary stress for yourself.

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5. Career Pressure

In your quest to become more successful, you will likely encounter work-related pressure. Such can come when trying to stabilize your career or climb the career ladder. It can also come as a result of overworking and having no life. Career pressure is one of the most common life problems.

Sometimes, it may be that the promotion you are working hard to get is not coming or positions you are qualified for are being offered to others. The pressure can get more intense when you find that most of your colleagues are moving ahead of you.

Solution

Check to find if you have personal or attitudinal problems. Some attitudinal problems can put you at a disadvantaged end. It may be poor communication, poor personal grooming, or poor relationship and networking skills. If it is any of these problems, then work on improving yourself in those areas.

You can also observe your colleagues who are succeeding and take note of what they are doing differently.

6. Unfair Treatment

We are in a world where some people often think they have some privileges over others and may want to exercise this thinking and treat others unfairly. If you find yourself in an environment where you are being oppressed or treated badly because of your race, gender, or current status, this can make you feel really bad and can also affect your psyche and productivity.

Solution

There is the temptation to decry your treatment, defend yourself, and demand a change immediately, but you should really wait for the right opportunity to do that.

When the time is right, reach out directly to the person or authority involved, and make it private. Meanwhile, you should be factual about the instances of your unfair treatments. Don’t just say it that you are being treated badly; give several undeniable instances.

Once you’ve made your grievances known politely, keep being you. If things don’t change, you can cocoon yourself in that environment. If you have an option to leave, you can do so as well.

7. Emptiness and Boredom

When you are in a rut, everything becomes normal, dull, unproductive, and yet difficult to change. This can lead to feelings of emptiness and boredom. This may not seem like a serious life problem, but it can have a great impact on your life.

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Solution

To overcome boredom and emptiness, break out of your routines, and deliberately create a new experience for yourself. If you can’t leave your job to find a new one, start doing other things that reflect your true passion. Sometimes, the things that give us the needed drive in life are not our day jobs.

8. Confusion

Confusion is described as a change in mental status in which a person is not able to think with their usual level of clarity.[1]. It is inherent in forgetfulness and lack of concentration.

It can be caused by different things including medical and environmental factors. It can also be due to the experience of a loss, a heartbreak, or abuse.

Solution

Don’t allow the situation to deteriorate into something more serious. Try to snap out of whatever experiences you have had that is causing confusion. Seek medical help if necessary or talk to a psychologist.

9. Friendship Problems

We need friends in our lives to rob minds and hang out together and even help us when we run into trouble. But many people have found themselves in serious trouble as a result of the company of friends they keep. They’ve experienced jealousy, backstabbing, and betrayal of trust. Some friends have even used the information freely provided in times of friendship to betray trust.

Solution

Don’t open up on everything to friends. Keep some information only to yourself. If you notice that a friend is working against you, confront them with the truth. Limit your interaction with them or get rid of such toxic friends completely.

10. Haunting Past

We all have pasts, and we might have done some crazy stuff in the past before we begin to live a more civilized and decent life. But sometimes, the past comes back haunting. It’s even worse when life problems of the past haunt you back and become problems of the present.

It may be that what you have done is now striking your conscience, keeping you awake at night. Or someone who knows about it is trying to use it against you, and it is standing in the way of your progress.

Solution

Be true to yourself and forgive yourself. If it is an issue with another person, you can reach out to the person to settle with them. If it is a secret that is now being leaked out, own up to it, take responsibility, and move on.

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11. Safety and Security

You may find yourself in an environment where there have been unexplained murder, gun violence, police brutality, insurgencies, and other life-threatening situations. This can make you feel like you might be the next victim. What should you do in this situation?

Solution

Ensure that you watch where you go and keep your home secure. You can also get involved in a neighborhood community watch to collectively find solutions to the threat. If the situation persists, you can move to a more secure location.

12. Failure

Failure can bring disappointment and can also slow the pace of progress. But failure is also part of life, and we have to learn to deal with it. But what do you do when an experience of failure weighs you down?

Solution

You can read a book or biography to get inspired by other people’s success stories.

13. Grief

No one loves to grief but we can’t totally shield ourselves from it. The loss of a loved one is painful and, if not properly handled, can lead to an emotional breakdown.

Solution

Take your time to express emotions. You can also pen an emotional tribute to the individual. Writing can help us bring out the feelings that cannot be expressed otherwise, and it helps us breathe a sigh of relief.

You can also cope with your grief by helping them to realize some of their unfulfilled dreams or do something in their honor. Lastly, while you think about your loss, you will still have to move on, accepting the fact that life is transient.

The Bottom Line

Problems are what make life worth living. They help us adapt to become tougher as we adapt to different situations. Always remember that whatever problem you are facing has a solution or, at least, a manageable approach.

Therefore, never allow your challenges to stop you from fulfilling your true potentials in life.

More Tips to Help You Get Unstuck

Featured photo credit: Danka & Peter via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medicinet: Confusion: Symptoms & Signs

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