Meetings are a love – hate relationship for most business professionals, however they are an essential part of business. Meetings should be seen as a strategic way to communicate, but are often seen as the most dreaded part of business.
If you want to make meetings a positive part of your business, start by improving the way they are organized, you may be surprised what a few simple changes can achieve.
1. Determine who should attend and who should not, with meetings, sometimes less is more.
2. Be sure that there is a purpose for your meeting before you schedule it, don’t just have a meeting for the sake of having a meeting.
3. Schedule the time and place for the meeting with enough advanced notice so the attendees can coordinate their schedules, don’t just assume that your schedule works for them.
4. Plan a well thought out agenda containing topics that will stimulate discussions rather than lectures, no one like to sit in a room for 2 hours while someone is just talking away.
5. Make the agenda available to attendees well in advance of the meeting and ask for suggestions on additional topics, attendees will appreciate the request for help.
6. Be sure to designate a Chairman for the meeting, someone needs to steer the ship and keep the meeting on track.
7. If able, designate a Note Taker for the meeting, this way the Chairman can focus on the discussions and communication, and the Note Taker can document the minutes.
8. If more information is needed for making decisions, don’t be afraid to Park a topic for later discussion, there is no need to rush an important decision.
9. When the meeting is adjourned, clarify what the purpose of the meeting was and be sure that attendees are aware of the next steps and what may be required of them.
10. Distribute and archive the meeting minutes so that attendees can review the meeting information as needed.