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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 15 Secrets To Running Meetings Like The World’s Top Innovative Companies
- 12 Secrets To a Super Productive Meeting You Should Know
- 30sec Tip: How to Improve the Efficiency of Meetings?
- 10 things you can do to organize and lead effective meetings
Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com
|||^||PNAS: Cognitive control in media multitaskers|