How to Run Effective Meetings
What is an “effective meeting?”
Definition of Effective: successful in producing a desired or intended result; fulfilling a specified function in fact.
- Know who is necessary for attendance and who isn’t. You may change the meeting time or location for the people that are necessary for the best outcome.
- Invite the right people to the meeting. They are the right person, if they are necessary to add to the meeting or necessary to take away something from the meeting.
- Make sure that you don't have all “yes people” in the room. Challenges are good for critical thinking.
- If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
The “how to”
Create an agenda and send it out in advance of the meeting
- Avoid impromptu meetings – they are many times not productive due to information shortage and lack of preparation required.
- Our staff is asked to answer like this, “I can give you 10 mins now or 30-45 minutes next week.” This takes emotion out of the meeting and sets time to prepare and make the most out of it.
- An agenda will keep you and the meeting on task. It will also honor those in the meeting.
- If conversation falls off agenda, stop the conversation and suggest moving to a separate meeting. Be 'ok' with changing direction in meeting, if it starts going off course. Someone has to lead, if it’s your meeting, it’s your responsibility.
Agenda should include the following:
- Purpose statement or goal – “why are we here?”
- Topic headers for each topic that needs to be discussed
- Assign who is responsible for next steps and when it’s needed (timeline of responsibility) - notate this for future reference.
- Share your notes with responsibilities and deadlines to each person that attended the meeting.
- Follow up on the timeline afterward (inspect what you expect)
- Encourage and help with next steps, if needed to meet timeline goals