How to Run Effective Meetings
Meetings have a bad rap, would you agree? I would, too, because most people don't know how to run effective meetings.
Indeed, many meetings waste people's time or are valid but don't result in tangible results. Especially as manager, you don't have the luxury of time, and you need to learn how to run effective meetings ASAP.
I learned this lesson quickly when I became a manager for the first time, and I made it my personal goal to touch any action on my plate only once. A key ingredient to this is knowing how to run effective meetings. Here are my most important takeaways!
Top Tips on How to Run Effective Business Meetings for First-Time Managers
1. Go Into Every Meeting with a Clear Idea What the Outcome Needs to Be
Having meetings for the sake of having meetings is not an option. And most people would agree with that. Nonetheless, many meetings drift and seem to be aimless.
When you set a meeting, share the plan and main talking points before the meeting. But even more important, share what needs to be the outcome of the meeting. Then use this to move on the meeting if it gets stuck, or people go on tangents.
2. Be Intentional About the Attendance List
Remember that a meeting will define a working unit that will work on a common objective and make decisions together. It is essential to understand that this leads to a committee situation.
The more people are on the committee, the more authority is diluted, and responsibility is diffused, leading to a more protracted decision-making process. Therefore, if I only could make one recommendation here, it would be this one: be ruthless with your invitation list. Only invite key decision makers. These can then instruct workstreams and inform people who need to know outside of the decision meeting.
I implement this by disabling the forwarded option in meeting invites. If another attendee wanted to deliver the meeting, they would need to ask for permission.
3. Don’t End the Meeting Without Decisions Made and Actions Defined
Therefore, it is essential to be to the point and have good time management skills. The meeting has a predetermined end time, and people will be required to leave at that time. Before your key attendees leave, you need to lead the team to a decision and agree on the actions.
If the meeting disbands before this, you risk that another meeting needs to be held or that key attendees will disagree with your recollection of decisions and actions, if not agreed there and then.
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