Is that meeting really necessary? Five tips for holding a successful meeting.
When I look at my weekly calendar on a typical Monday morning, I sometimes think – WTH!
? How can I have so many meetings planned? ? How will I get any work done?
I’d be willing to bet that many of you think the same thing.
Many people don’t understand how draining all those meetings can be. No, you haven’t been digging a ditch in 90 degree weather. But the brain drain is real. The negative impact on your business could be real as well with your best minds doing things other than running it!
Before you schedule another meeting, take a breath … figure out whether a meeting is really required. And if it is, how can you make sure you are making the best use of everyone’s time? Here are a few tips to ensure success:
1 – Determine whether a meeting is really necessary. Could the goals of the meeting really be accomplished with a phone call or other less formal gathering? Could a campfire (everyone pulls their chairs together for a quick chat) do the trick? Can you have a phone conversation with 1 or 2 people? Or is the topic so strategic to the company that a formal structure is needed with a record of the discussion?
2 – Once you’ve determined it is really needed… Prepare your agenda. Be as specific as possible about the goals and what you need to accomplish them, be realistic about what can be achieved in a single session.
3 – Using the agenda as a guide…
Once the meeting starts…
4 – Record the discussion and assignments… Assign someone to take minutes which you distribute to all attendees within 1 day after the meeting. This may seem like an unnecessary formality, but it is critical to ensure that you stay on track, achieve your goals and that everyone knows and understands their responsibilities. If it’s not in writing, you risk having people misinterpret their roles, responsibilities, and assignments.
5 – Define what’s next… Define follow up activities, assign responsibilities and ensure everyone knows what’s expected to be delivered and the timeframes for delivery. Set a follow-up meeting date and time so everyone is clear on how long they have to complete their tasks. Having a deadline gives a clear target for people to work towards. Without this step, all the other steps will be in vain… a clear execution plan is required.
Remember the 5 W’s:
> Why are you meeting? Why is this goal important? > Who will be assigned to tasks necessary to achieve the goal? > What is expected for delivery? > When is it due? > Where will it be delivered?
These guidelines will help you achieve success in your meeting planning and set you and your team on the right path to achieve your goals.