How often are we all subjected to non-productive meetings? I have attended far too many in my career. I know a meeting is not advantageous when I start to drift off or become unengaged, eat too many snacks, start looking at my phone or don’t take any notes. And those are just a few of the warning signs for me.
A few years ago, I started really looking into what makes a meeting successful. I took some classes, became more observant of others’ meetings and started trying some different tactics when facilitating my own meetings. Here are some tips I have gathered:
- Every meeting must have a reason for being. Informational-only meetings are not necessary; you can probably send an email instead.
- Make sure the reason for the meeting supports a goal such as solving a problem, collaborating on a strategy or setting a new policy. There are other reasons to have a meeting… just make sure it is not purely informational in nature.
- ALWAYS set an agenda. Make every agenda item a question, not a statement. Send the agenda out before the meeting so everyone can see the questions that will be discussed and think about them before the meeting.
- Make sure that NEXT STEPS are established at the end of the meeting.
- Invite all stakeholders and influencers. Problems cannot be solved if people involved in the solution have no say in the solution!
- Make sure everyone participates and has a voice in whatever the final solution/path may be.
For more information on running a successful meeting, join me at the PWH Leadership Summit for my breakout, “Conducting an Effective and Collaborative Planning Meeting.”