6 Tips for Conducting an Effective Meeting
Meetings are not always a thrilling experience in the office. They take up time, and many people have negative experiences with them. The presenter goes off topic, the meeting goes to long, there was no agenda, or even worse, no one knows why they are meeting in the first place.
Don Jacobson’s “The 6 Golden Rules of Meeting Management” provides insight to conducting professional and effective meetings, whether you are running a meeting for a non-profit organization or a Fortune 500 company. The rules for conducting a meeting are same.
Always be considerate. Run a meeting you would like to attend.
This is conducive to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The person running the meeting should be prepared with agendas, all required information, presentations, and meeting objectives. The participants also should be given adequate time to prepare. Distribute meeting agendas a day before the meeting, or earlier if possible. If background information is needed for the participants, be sure to provide that as well.
If there is nothing to put on the agenda, the organizer should ask herself whether there really needs to be a meeting.
Stay on schedule.
Start a meeting on time and end it on time. If the topics require additional discussion, table them and arrange for additional meeting time. If topics only need to be discussed further with one or two other meeting participants, arrange a private meeting at a later time.
Stay on topic as much as possible.
While tangents are going to happen, the organizer and participants need to stay on topic in order to accomplish the set agenda.
Don’t hold a meeting if you don’t need a meeting.
Staff meetings are crucial vehicles for maintaining good communication in the office, but it is important to find the right balance between good communication and productive uses of time. Is a daily staff meeting necessary? For some companies, yes. But if a meeting really isn’t necessary, don’t make people come to a meeting. It will cause negative feelings and low morale if meetings are held for the sake of holding a meeting.
Wrap up meetings with a clear statement of the next steps and who is to take them.
If any decisions were made at the meeting, the organizer should clearly summarize what needs to be done and who is going to do it. If the people leave a meeting and no one is accountable for taking action on the decisions that were made, then the meeting will have been a waste of everyone’s time.
These simple rules can go a long way in making meetings more productive. Implementing them is not always easy, as they require preparation and discipline, but doing so can make a huge difference to the productivity of your organization.