Five quick tips, and questions to consider, for making meetings more effective include:
1. Be clear on the purpose of the meeting. Is a meeting the best way to handle this?
2. Be clear on who needs to be at the table. Does everyone need to be there for the full meeting? Who might be needed in order to provide information? Decisions? Authority? Make sure you know who will need to be there or else it may mean another meeting. Having everyone there all the time may actually slow the meeting down. At this point, you will want to start considering who needs to be there, when.
3. What is the outcome you desire? What are the 3-5 tangible takeaways you want from the meeting? This question will help to reinforce what the purpose is, and who really should be at the table.
4. What decisions have been made? What outcomes are expected, and what are the timelines. Who is responsible for doing this? Tracking it? Reporting on it? What will follow up look like? Being granular in this stage is a key to success. Many times it is glossed over. Be sure to leave sufficient time to summarize key decisions made, and implications of this.
5. Keep to time - Time management is an art form with effective meetings. Being too lax with time can lead to frustration and disengagement. If timing tends to fall off , assign someone a time keeper role, and put your stronger facilitator in the chair seat to keep the meeting moving. Tangents don't always benefit meetings.
Check out the recent Teams365 blog posts here for more on meetings, as well as Chapter 18 of my 2021 book, Reconnecting Workspaces: Pathways to Thrive in the Virtual, Remote and Hybrid World.
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