What about size? Keep problem solving meetings small around 8 people. Include more people for brainstorming as many as But remember: time is money. Giving participants a specific role to play can increase focus and engagement.
1. The Meeting's Objective
Consider the following roles:. The meeting space helps to set the tone. Do you want your meeting to be informal and intimate? Choose a small room and set the chairs up in a circle. Formal and rigorous? A conference room will probably work best. Will participants be attending virtually? Make sure your equipment allows everyone to hear, participate, or see people in the room if using video conference. Make sure attendees know the purpose of the meeting. Send any reports, pre-reading, or requests for materials that may require preparation from participants.
Send out any pre-reading a day or two in advance of your meeting and make it clear that participants are expected to review materials before they arrive. Choose a decision-making method ahead of time to ensure that you leave your meeting with a clear outcome. Whatever can be done outside the meeting time should be. This includes circulating reports for people to read beforehand, and assigning smaller group meetings to discuss issues relevant to only certain people.
Download our free agenda template here , and use this as a starting point for creating your own agenda. Once you have an agenda prepared, you need to circulate it to the participants and get their feedback and input. Running a meeting is not a dictatorial role: you have to be participative right from the start.
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Perhaps there is something important that a team member has to add. Maybe you have allotted too much, or too little, time for a particular item.
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There may even be some points you've included that have been settled already and can be taken off the list for discussion. Whatever the reason, it is important you get feedback from the meeting participants about your proposed agenda. Once in the meeting, to ensure maximum satisfaction for everyone, there are several things you should keep in mind:. After the meeting is over, take some time to debrief, and determine what went well and what could have been done better. Evaluate the meeting's effectiveness based on how well you met the objective.
This will help you continue to improve your process of running effective meetings. You may even want to get the participants' feedback as well. Depending on the time frame, this debriefing can be done within the meeting itself or afterward. Finally, prepare the meeting summary. This will be forwarded to all participants and other stakeholders. It is a record of what was accomplished and who is responsible for what as the team moves forward. This is a very crucial part of effective meetings that often gets overlooked.
You need a written record of what transpired, along with a list of actions that named individuals have agreed to perform. Make sure someone is assigned to take notes during the meeting if you think you will be too busy to do so yourself. Etiquette covers behaviors such as timekeeping; the use of laptops and cell phones; eating and drinking during the meeting; whether you can interrupt while someone is speaking, or only ask questions at the end; where you sit, and so on. These rules will vary according to the culture of your organization, your management style, and the preferences of your team.
And some meetings may be more formal than others, depending on the agenda and who is attending. But agreeing to these basic standards — and sticking to them — can help you and your team to conduct meetings in a more professional manner, and to achieve your objectives with the minimum of fuss or disruption. Running an effective meeting is more than sending out a notice that your team is to meet at a particular time and place.
Effective meetings need structure, order and ground rules. Without these elements they can go on forever and not accomplish a thing. With a solid objective in mind, a tight agenda, and a commitment to involving the meeting participants in the planning, preparation, and execution of the meeting, you are well on your way to chairing great meetings.
Given the frustration most people feel when their time is wasted, gaining a reputation for running efficient and successful meetings is good for you and your career. Download Template. This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools. Subscribe to our free newsletter , or join the Mind Tools Club and really supercharge your career! Expert Interviews Audio Forums Infographics.
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Facilitating effective project meetings
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