Monday, December 12, 2011
Tip #362: 4 Tips To Having More Effective Meetings
Internal meetings can often times be unproductive, wasting time that could be better spent by employees working at their desks or out in the field. Sometimes, a meeting can be avoided if the material can be effectively presented in a memo or e-mail. But when a meeting is unavoidable and important for production and growth, take some time to prepare before, during and after the meeting to ensure the organization's purpose is met.
More effective meetings will be possible when you follow these simple tips.
4 Tips To Having More Effective Meetings:
Tip #1. Invite Only Necessary Attendees: Cut down on the wasted time by employees that really do not have a vested interest in the topic of the meeting. Fewer people in attendance also means less time discussing and answering questions. Additionally, give your attendees the resources they need to prepare for the meeting such as materials to bring, questions to think about and a copy of an agenda.
Tip #2. Prepare An Agenda: Perhaps one of the most important pieces in a meeting is an agenda. It enables all participants to fully understand the topics that are to be discussed. Create your agenda to address the most important topics first to ensure enough time is available to finish your discussion. Discuss only the subjects that are listed on the agenda and make notes of anything extra that needs to be addressed at a later time. e-Mail a copy of the agenda several days before the meeting (if possible) to allow for suggestions, then prepare a final agenda to distribute at the meeting. It will also be helpful for the facilitator to have clearly stated objectives for his or her team, such as "By the end of the meeting, the group will [understand something, list something, make a decision, etc.]."
Tip #3. Designate A Note-Taker To Summarize The Meeting: Using the supplied agenda, a note-taker can record key concepts, questions and decisions that were addressed and finalized. The notes themselves do not have to be in complete sentences, but an outline of meeting highlights should be typed up and presented to all involved after the meeting (especially those who could not attend). The follow-up can include attendance, due dates and other pertinent information decided at the meeting.
Tip #4. Summarize The Meeting's Action Items: At the conclusion of the meeting, make sure the meeting's leader summarizes the action steps or to-do items. Additionally, it is also recommended to ask for feedback and suggestions. Make sure all attendees have a clear picture of what it is they should have learned or what their next move will be.
Executive Summary: Meetings are a very useful tool in increasing productivity and involvement when facilitated properly. Preparedness is essential to an organized and fruitful meeting, so make sure you have goals and objectives stated and an agenda prepared - and stick to it. But most importantly, have a summary at the end of the meeting with a list of action items for those delegated items.
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