If you do these four things with consistency at the meetings you lead, you’ll get vastly better results from the investment you are making in meeting time.
- Trying to come up with a topic to talk about
- Let's share what's going on (without any context for how/why)
- Information sharing only
- No agenda
- Too many agenda items
- People on devices
- Too many meetings total
Good news! Many of us have almost complete control over how we run meetings as leaders
1. Determine if the meeting needs to be held at all
- Is it for brainstorming, training that needs to be done in person, or making a decision? Yes, have the meeting.
- Is it for sharing of information? No, find a better way to get the information to people.
- Consider the real cost of staff time
2. Have written or understood guidelines on communication, technology, decision-making, and overall culture of your meetings
- What do we do when we get off task?
- How will we capture what is decided and/or next actions?
- What rules will we have around the use of technology during meetings?
- Is PowerPoint needed?
3. Set and send agenda in advance with the topic for discussion and end goal of the meeting, along with start and end times
- If the meeting discussion drifts, call attention to it and decide on addressing or tabling
- Begin and end on time (considering starting a bit after the hour or ending a bit early)
4. Have everyone walk out of the room with clear action items
- Follow-up with documentation shortly thereafter
- Meeting notes – mindmapping (starting point) and outlining (finishing point). I use MindNode and OmniOutliner, respectively.
What’s a best practice you’ve discovered for leading effective meetings?
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