A vital organizational function for high productivity and cohesive working in any team is to conduct effective meetings. Meetings are responsible for building relationship between team members, motivating them, for giving an open forum for discussions of new ideas and so much more. But not all meetings are equal, there are meetings that will make participants feeling energized while others will be downright boring and waste of time. Running an effective meeting is a skill that every leader must develop.
Why Have A Meeting
You should hold meeting only to discuss certain ideas or performances with a clear and well defined agenda. Don’t have a meeting only for the sake of it. Avoid the meeting if you can share the same information in a memo or an e-mail. There is no use of meetings where most of the people feel bored and consider it as waste of their time. Give the call for meeting only after you have a clear objective and have drawn a specific and defined agenda. Start with the end in mind, what is the outcome you desire to have from this meeting. Decide according to this whether you want to generate new ideas or you want a report on the existing project or if you want to communicate something to your team. Remember meetings are most essential when you require two-way exchange of ideas rather then giving a one-way information.
Benefits Of Good Meeting
A good meeting is an excellent opportunity to network with your team members. It makes the team bonding more effective. The decisions and policies are given a concrete shape and it ensures that all the team members make focused efforts in same direction. If conducted properly meeting will make your team members more excited and involved about their jobs.
Preparing For Good Meeting
1. Make Attendee List
Always consider who is invited for the meeting, whether all the invitees are needed and at the same time you have not missed out the names of the people who are genuinely needed. As a rule always invite people who are affected by your decisions as well as those who can solve the problem and make the meeting more relevant.
2. Prepare Written Agenda
Prepare beforehand in writing what needs to be communicated. Take care that your agenda is provided to attendees well in advance so that they come prepared. Think and make notes about where, when, and what needs to be discussed with team members. This will help you to get quick and prompt response.
3. Manage The Timings
Always be punctual and disciplined when it comes to conducting a meeting. Make it a point to start and end the meeting on time. Make other’s time also equally valuable as your own. Ideally for maximum energy and participation a meeting should last about an hour. Anything above this will drag the meeting towards unproductive zone as people will start losing their concentration and focus.
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4. Remove Distractions
If possible discourage participants bringing their gadgets in the meeting room if the same are not required in context of the meeting. The smart phones or other gadgets will distract the attendees from the discussions and individual contribution will decrease. For meeting to be highly effective all the members need to focus on it.
5. Give Time To All
There is no point if you do not give all the participants enough time to contribute their ideas. Inviting somebody and then not giving a chance to speak up will make the concerned person feel frustrated and annoyed.
6. Make Notes
A very important part of an effective meeting is taking notes. This will help you to record the questions raised, suggestions given and decisions reached during the meeting. If you are meeting organizer this will come handy when you prepare minutes, if you are an attendee then also notes will be beneficial to focus on the decisions made and the action required on your part.
A very vital part of the meeting is to send an email or a written communication to all the participants in order to register what happened in the meeting. It is suggested that this communication records all the tasks delegated, responsibilities given and decisions reached. Try to complete the same within 24 hours of the meeting.
A leader who learn these skills will make the meetings more productive and valuable. As you gain the reputation for conducting effective meetings you will be amazed how the contribution from various participants increase and you get the desired outcome.