Leading Successful and Effective meetings that lead to successful outcomes or outcomes at all is an art. It’s a discipline that is only learnt with time and followed by attendees when the leader or the chairing person in the meeting advocates it.
Here are Ten constructive ways through which you can Improve your Meetings considerably.
1. Send out a Meeting Invite:
When you send out Meeting Invites perhaps through outlook, you can always see who is attending the event. Automatic Reminders on the meeting invite always help remind attendees about the meeting date and time. It is also a great way to record your meetings proceedings, attendees, agenda and time/date.
2. Define an Agenda and rotate it in the meeting invite
If you want to lead your meeting in an organized fashion and want to make the most of the time that is allotted to the meeting, then its best to define the agenda to be followed and discussed during the meeting.
This helps to not only direct the meeting discussion during the meeting but also serves as meeting minutes. It helps attendees know what to expect from the meeting and can they can prep for the meeting accordingly.
Sharing an agenda with the meeting invite is always recommended. However this agenda could also be shortly shared with the confirmed attendees after the invite has been sent out.
3. Create and Share Ground rules for the meeting
Establishing ground rules for the meeting is the best way to lead a constructive and controlled meeting with confirmed outcomes. People get off meetings when they waste more time and help little to get things done.
The best way to lead a successful meeting is to lay certain rules down for attendees to follow that ensures all attendees are respecting others time and feedback. Examples for such rules are as follows:
- Be Punctual and arrive early
- Do not use laptop or mobile phones during the meeting
- Do not derail the meeting and discuss anything out of the agenda
- To add something to the agenda send a request for addition to the organizer
- Make minimum disturbances during the meeting time, do not take calls and do not leave the meeting midway
4. Be Prepared & Lead your Meeting
Reach the venue on time and preferably before time so you can ensure everything you need for the meeting is in order. The conference room’s administrative aspects must be taken care of. If during the meeting the multimedia is required or a connection to Internet then these issues must be resolved before the meeting.
Take a copy of the agenda for yourself and make sure you have made notes for you to use during the meeting.
5. Stick to your Agenda
The only way others will respect your agenda is that you respect your agenda. Do not talk about anything else other than the agenda during the meeting. If there is an emergency addition rotate the notification before the meeting even if its just 5 minutes before the meeting.
6. Assign someone the task of taking the Meeting Minutes
Assign someone other than yourself the task of taking the meeting minutes. You are already leading the meeting therefore it would not be possible for you to lead and record both at the same time.
Assign his responsibility before you send out the meeting invite so everyone knows whose responsibility this is.
Meeting minutes must contain action plans, who will be responsible to report progress on the action plan, when is the action plan due etc.
7. Control the feedback from attendees during the meeting
When you lead the meeting take feedback from the attendees in a structured manner. This will make it easier to record for the minutes of the meeting as well as not make the meeting room sound like a chaotic mess.
Lead each agenda item at a time and give a chance to each attendee to give feedback on it. This will also engage the attendees and make them vigilant, waiting for their turns during the meeting.
8. Be Punctual; Start on time and End on Time
Respect your time and respect others time as well. When you have booked a meeting on the calendar then ensure that you follow that. People may have planned engagements before or after your meeting that they would need to get back to. If you want to come to your meetings, then ensure you value their time and close the meeting within the timeline you booked on the calendar. Therefore set realistic agendas and timeline for your meeting.
9. Decide the Next Meeting Time and Agenda
When closing the meeting announce the next meetings time and agenda. This would help the attendees find time slots for the next meeting and if there are any conflicts they can raise them immediately. Any outcomes promised for the next meeting can also be discussed during this closing.
10. Circulate Meeting Minutes At the end of the Meeting
Ensure that you send out a Minutes of the Meeting (MOM) right after the meeting. This must be structured and must have clearly communicated timelines, action plans and individual responsibilities.