Running effective meetings is an often overlooked skill. An effective meeting leaves its participants with a clearer understanding of their priorities, goals, and the business at large. An ineffective meeting can be a confusing waste of time and money.
An employee making $100K per year is getting paid $50 per hour. In a one hour meeting with 5 people the business can be spending $250 or more. Imagine spending that $250 just to create more frustration and miscommunication among the team. Not good.
Here are 2 tips that’ll have your coworkers excited to come to the meetings you schedule.
1. Set a clear agenda and purpose
A well planned meeting should have clear expectations on the topics that will be covered (and more importantly, the topics that won’t be covered) and a clear understanding of what each meeting participant is supposed to contribute to the discussion.
Setting clear expectations on the topics that should be covered ensures that meetings stay focused. Without a clear agenda, it can be easy for meetings to lose focus and turn into broad, inactionable discussions. A clear purpose for a meeting should establish both the level and content of the information being discussed.
For example, a good purpose for a sales meeting would be: “Brianstorm sales process for cold emails including number sent per week and division of work”. This purpose establishes both level (using the word brainstorm indicates a higher level meeting) and content (cold emails).
2. Keep the meeting focused
It’s natural for humans to get distracted. As the organizer of the meeting, it is your responsibility to keep the meeting on track. This means being willing to politely ask coworkers to take tangentially related discussions offline, not spending too much time on one topic, and keeping discussions at the correct level. For example, during a high level brainstorming meeting you must keep participants from diving too deep into the details of any given topic. During a lower level, detail oriented meeting, you must ask plenty of questions to get meeting participants to elaborate on the specifics of the topic at hand.
Overall, a good meeting comes down to having a clear purpose and agenda and being willing and able to enforce the agenda during the discussion. If you consistently do these two things you’ll find your meetings to be empowering events rather than the traditional time suck.