Have you ever dozed off during a meeting?
In an office setup, it is common for the managers and team leaders to conduct frequent meetings in order to discuss the budget of the project, several verticals of the project, and overall working pattern of the team. In fact, meetings are held for multiple office agendas that can be only discussed in front of the whole team or several relevant team members.
If meetings are not conducted properly, it is likely for your audience to procrastinate, deviate from the point, or simply feel extremely sleepy. All these factors nullify the whole point of having a meeting in the first place.
Hence, to help you conduct meetings effectively, we have prepared a guide for you. Read the below steps to understand how you can conduct a comprehensive meeting without wandering away.
Before we dive in and discuss the essentials of all the company meetings, it is necessary to understand that planning is optimal. Organizations spend a lot of money on meetings looking at the cost of labor and management. Planning effectively based on the type of meeting is the right approach towards reducing the costs incurred and conducting a productive meeting. So, firstly, decide the purpose of your meeting – whether you want to discuss the project, brainstorm, or talk to the team about the glitches.
Avoid the meeting if it can be avoided as there is no point of wasting everyone’s time for something that can be communicated over mail or something that is not important.
How to Conduct a Meeting?
Start the meeting by selecting the participants for the meeting. Consider the following pointers for it:
- Decide which team members are absolutely necessary for the meeting. It may seem obvious but often the important people are skipped due to several reasons. So decide the goal and then evaluate which employees who need to attend the meeting.
- Don’t use your discretion or judgement alone. This should be based on the project and involvement of the employees. You can’t skip the financial adviser while having a meeting about the project overheads.
- Call or inform every person through mail or over the phone to ensure they know their presence is required and it is important.
- Follow-up just before the meeting – maybe just send an email to remind of the timings.
- Send the agenda of the meeting beforehand so that everyone knows what you are going to discuss in the meeting. We have discussed the preparation of the agenda in the next section.
- Appoint someone to note down the minutes of the meeting and other necessary details so that you can circulate it amongst the team later.
2. Making Agenda
- Sit with the essential members of the project and discuss the outcome of the meeting. Understand what are the pointers that you absolutely need to address in the meeting.
- It is best to add something that the participants need to achieve at the starting of the meeting. This will encourage everyone to be on time.
- Define major points and explain these pointers in short. For instance, what and how these pointers will be discussed in the meeting.
- Stick to the agenda. Always! It is necessary to ensure that the meeting doesn’t get stretched. You can’t keep everyone waiting for something that is not important for the project.
3. Opening of the Meeting
- Always arrive on time. Always! We can’t stress on this pointer enough. To conclude the meeting on time, you need to start on time. If a few members are late, don’t wait or repeat for them. Let everyone realize that they need to respect the schedule of every meeting.
- Thank and welcome your attendees and start by reviewing the agenda once. This is required to bring everyone on board.
- Clarify and classify the role of everyone in the meeting so that each member knows it is necessary for them to pay attention.
4. Ground Rules
It is not required to set rules for every meeting or set rules at all. This is just to say that you need to bring a culture which leads to effective meetings.
- Don’t delay.
- Don’t procrastinate and move away from the agenda.
- Don’t over stretch.
- Don’t skip important people.
- Pay attention.
- Reach closure as fast as possible. Keep the meeting short.
5. Time Management
- It is hard for everyone to keep track of time but you still have to do it. You can’t spend all day in a meeting discussing tasks. You have to get out of the meeting to execute these tasks.
- Ask your audience to keep track of time and remind you when things start to go out of hand.
- Also, everyone should move towards the solution you are looking forward to through this meeting.
- Ask everyone to provide their 1-minute feedback on the meeting. This way you can improve the things that went wrong. This task can also be achieved through email, you don’t necessarily have to keep everyone waiting to hear it.
- Don’t forget to close on a good note. Don’t radiate negative thoughts at the end of the meeting even if it is to discuss the glitches of the project. Always conclude positively to keep everyone motivated.
- Review the responsibilities and tasks assigned to everyone in the end.
- Conclude the whole meeting in short to help the members remember the agenda, solution, and essential pointers.
Meetings can be a positive experience which can lead to the company’s growth if these are conducted effectively. If you unnecessarily stretch the meeting for one hour or don’t clarify the agenda and talk on 10 different pointers, things will never proceed in the right direction. It is not necessary to follow this pattern but you have to follow one effective pattern to improve the productivity of your meetings.