One of the biggest complaints that we get from leaders and executives is how many meetings they are expected to attend. People often show up to a meeting that is poorly facilitated, has no purpose and is not necessary to an outcome. It's a nice to have! Ridiculous! Who has time for that? These are a waste of time, energy and productivity for all involved. Not to mention they are frustrating, boring and the people involved are more likely dreaming about their next holiday than listening to the person running the meeting.
However, a meaningful meeting is beneficial to business results, the growth and development of people and to productivity Which will you choose for your business?
What Is A Meaningful Meeting?
These meetings need to be necessary to an outcome, have a proposed outcome and an agenda that has been sent prior to the meeting to allow preparation. Meaningful meetings are beneficial to productivity. They are facilitated effectively and are timed. They call various stakeholders together to discuss the agenda items, encourage ideas, gain commitments and enable decisions. These meetings must have a purpose.
What To Avoid.
- Avoid meetings that are a good idea but not necessary.
- Avoid holding a meeting on the same topic that is not progressing.
- If an agenda has not been forwarded prior to the meeting, you are expecting people to think on their feet, which may not be natural to them. You are not inviting considered discussion without informing people of what is on the agenda and you are not working to a framework which will be the guide to your outcome. You are allowing participants to be lazy.
- Avoid allowing a meeting to run over time and you are not demonstrating respect for people’s time.
- Avoid talking in a monotone voice and reading from your page or powerpoint. Boring!
What To Do
- Provide an agenda.
- Ensure the meeting has a purpose and desired outcome and outline these to participants.
- Ensure you facilitate the meeting to time.
- Ensure the meeting is necessary and you have exhausted all other avenues for collecting information.
- Ensure you ask that all attending are prepared and they will be called on for discussion or decision if appropriate.
- Keep control of the meeting.
- Gain commitments at the end of the meeting or ensure decisions/a path forward is communicated.
- Ensure a clear communication path is established for communicating the outcome/result of the meeting to the greater team.
Try these and you will be assured of an improved dynamic in your meeting and improved outcomes. Which is the purpose of a meeting.