Organizations have meetings to help them achieve their goals. Meetings are used to make plans and prepare action plans. One of the things that we’ve come to dislike about meeting is that it could waste productive time especially as people sometimes end up spending the best parts of their day sitting around a desk. That is why everybody needs to run meetings as effectively as possible so that it is over as soon as it can and still meet its objectives. Here are the four steps to an effective meeting.
Pre-Meeting: Plan your meeting if you’re sure you need it
Have you ever been in a meeting where you’re not sure what you’re doing there to start with? Chances are you’re in a badly planned meeting. If you are sure a meeting is necessary for what you need to discuss, start to plan it. This means deciding exactly what outcome you want the meeting to have. This also involves setting realistic goals for the meeting.
Now that you have goals for your meeting, who needs to be there? Those that should be at a meeting should be either those who make the decisions or those delegated by the decision-makers. Book the meeting room that’s big enough to accommodate everyone you have invited to the meeting. If your office has a digital room scheduler, ensure that you record all the meeting information and contact those involved. Also assign roles like timekeeper, recorder and action point reps early enough.
Pre-Meeting: Create and Share a meeting plan
Have an agenda for the meeting and make sure all the attendees have a copy before the meeting so that they can prepare adequately. Waiting till the meeting time before sharing the agenda is a significant waste of time and makes the meeting less productive. Any materials relevant to the meeting such as presentations, documents and follow-ups should get to attendees at least 2 days before the meeting if you want to have a successful meeting.
The meeting: Follow the agenda
The meeting lead should start talking about what the meeting is about and what the anticipated goals are which sets the tone for the meeting. The job of the facilitator is to make sure that the attendees of the meeting are staying on topic and interacting productively. You can also help participants to stay focused on the meeting goals by giving each person an action point.
After the meeting, a follow-up plan is a great way to make sure that the activities agreed upon are done. Make a plan of action points, due dates and details and share with all responsible parties.
Post – Meeting
Once the meeting is over, participants should be sent a copy of the minutes which will serve as a guide to important points and also provide information for assigned tasks. It is ideal to get minutes out before a day goes by so that the information is still fresh. Having an action plan provides a guide that participants can use to track their goals and what they need to work towards before the next meeting. A follow-up plan also helps with preparation towards the next meeting.
These steps will help you finally begin to plan and execute successful meetings that will yield productive results.