You’ve just spent an hour with your team discussing high-level goals and accomplishments, and have barely made it through your agenda. You feel as though the last hour was a complete waste of time and that you are living out Einstein’s definition of insanity as you walk back to your desk to send out yet another meeting invite. Sound familiar?
What if we told you that meetings can be efficient, effective, and provide added value to your organization?
A meeting should be the most efficient way to deliver information and receive feedback. To ensure successful, productive exchanges, our team of management experts recommends the following tactics when organizing your next meeting:
• Outline meeting topics, keeping in mind that the agenda should be as brief as possible.
• Schedule a meeting place in advance. For regular team meetings, the ambience should be informal and comfortable.
• Post the meeting date and time as far in advance as possible, and indicate if attendance is required.
• If applicable, ask that agenda items be submitted early to allow time for review.
• Prepare the final agenda and any additional materials needed.
• Assign someone to take notes at and prepare minutes from the meeting to be distributed shortly after the meeting; include any follow-up or action items.
Conducting the Meeting
• Have agendas and other materials available as participants walk into the meeting.
• Start the meeting on time, and review the agenda items to be covered.
• Maintain an open forum for comments, questions, and suggestions while ensuring your meeting stays on topic and on time. Recommend a separate meeting for any heated discussions or more detailed agenda items that arise.
• Don’t let one person dominate the floor. The meeting organizer should always retain control of the floor and engage others to participate in the discussion.
• Be upbeat and positive, using humor (if appropriate) to keep things moving.
• End the meeting on time.
After the Meeting
• Post or distribute minutes.
• Follow up on action items.
Through detailed planning and effective meeting management, you can maximize the time your team spends together and hopefully cut down on future meeting requests. For more tips on how to support your business, call Acara Partners at 203.488.0028.