If you’ve ever been to a meeting where you feel like your time could have been used more productively elsewhere, or that you shouldn’t have been invited to it in the first place, this article will resonate with you! When it’s your turn to call a meeting with your colleagues, make sure it’s useful, relevant and timely for everyone involved by following the steps below.
Tip 1 – Have a clear objective in mind
Think about what you’d like to get out of the meeting: would you like your colleagues input to solve a problem? Would you like to brainstorm ideas to increase revenue? Always have a specific aim in mind and let everyone know, so that the time during the meeting is used productively.
Tip 2 – Follow your agenda
If there are a number of things to tackle during your meeting, it can be helpful to put together an agenda and circulate it to all attendees beforehand. The agenda outlines all the topics you’d like to cover in the meeting, who’s speaking at what time and for how long. Having an agenda will help your meeting run to time, especially if it takes up a whole day.
Tip 3 – Ensure everyone contributes
In any meeting, there will always be one or two really vocal people and some quieter members of staff. If you notice one person monopolising the conversation and not allowing anyone else to speak, make sure you interrupt and ask other people to contribute their opinion, too.
Tip 4 – Have a designated chairperson
Inevitably when a group of people get together, the topic of conversation can run off on a tangent. It’s therefore the chairperson’s responsibility to ensure that the meeting runs to time by getting people back on track if they’re digressing from the agenda.
Tip 5 – Run to time
Your colleagues’ time is valuable – so if your meetings start and run to time, they’ll be more likely to attend the next time. Some people have short attention spans, so aim for your meeting to take no longer than an hour if you want to keep attendees engaged and focused on what you’re saying.
Tip 6 – Recap for 10 minutes at the end
At the end of the meeting, take 10 minutes to run through any action points that the chairperson has jotted down, along with the expected timeframe they should be completed by. Then, get everyone to agree the actions before they leave the room.
Tip 7 – Follow up on actions
As soon as possible after the meeting (ideally within 24 hours), the minutes should be typed up and circulated to all your attendees on email. Ask those attendees who have specific action points to report back to the group when they’ve done them.
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