Meetings are much loved by some and for others, the very mention of the M word strikes fear into the very core of their being. Used effectively meetings can achieve great things and because of this we need to constantly evaluate the meeting results to see if we are still improving or just making things worse.
Don’t have too many meetings
It is understandable that after a successful meeting there is a strong temptation to schedule another soon after. But having too many meetings is ultimately counterproductive to the meetings success. After the important matters have been dealt with, additional meetings usually just end up rehashing the details of the first meeting. Soon all these ‘follow-up’ meetings become resented because more and more time is spent away from important duties.
Have a clear agenda
This is the most important rule for meetings.
The agenda should be clear, concise and have a completion goal for the meeting.
Send the agenda out ahead of time so people can be properly prepared.
If you can’t put together a clear agenda with a definite goal then do not waste anyone’s time by scheduling a meeting.
Timing your meeting
Schedule the meeting at a time when there are no possible clashes or overlaps with other company matters.
Examine who is attending and don’t schedule the meeting when they are typically at their busiest/most demanding part of their day.
Begin on time, no exceptions or excuses.
Set a life time for the meeting so people know that at a certain time the meeting will be over.
Keep on topic and watch the clock – people will be more productive as a result.
Only invite whoever’s absolutely necessary
Make sure you respect everyone’s time and only invite anyone that absolutely has to be there.
Be very selective about who you are inviting to meetings and don’t drag the rest of the team through everyone else’s discussions; you are not adding any value by doing this.
Give everyone a chance to talk
Watch for the spot-light-hogs and anyone prone to monologuing. Once these people have control of the meeting, the attention of the rest will fade.