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How to run an effective meeting

How to run an effective meeting.
How often do you hear or think “what a waste of time that meeting was”. Bad meetings are a waste of time and effort and can have a very negative effect on people. Good meetings on the other hand are essential and can really help push an organisation forward and do wonders for team morale.

Much has been written over the years about what makes a good meeting. The ideas for the most part are simple and straightforward.

Invite the right people
People who go to meetings are often referred to as “Attendees”, try to think of them as “Participants”, you don’t want attendees, you want people participating. With the exception of the note taker everyone at the meeting should be a participant, if they are not participating they shouldn’t be there.

Have an agenda
It’s not often appropriate or efficient to have a meeting without having an agenda.
Where possible distribute the agenda enough time in advance to give participants chance to go over it and prepare themselves. If you require participants to do any prep work before the meeting, let them know in plenty of time with as much information as you can. We will be writing another post on meeting agendas next month.

Start and end the meeting on time
Start the meeting on time whether all the attendees are present or not. Delaying the start just tells those who are late that you will wait for them.
Unless there is a very good reason to carry the meeting over time then don’t. People will have planned their day around the time shedule you set, running over that time can have a knock on to other peoples schedules.

Have someone make notes
It’s important discussions & decisions don’t get missed, if possible have someone take notes during the meeting, if that’s not possible then make sure you take adequate notes yourself.

Keep control of the meeting
Keep the meeting on topic and schedule, do not allow the meeting to drift off. At times you may have to step in if any difficult situations between arise between participants ,

Evaluate the meeting
Give the meeting a score out of 10, where appropriate get scores from meeting participants.

Sending out minutes of the meetings
This should be done as soon as is reasonably possible after the meeting. Try not to schedule back to back meetings so that you have ample time after a meeting to make the necessary notes and distribute them to the other participants

Follow Up with progress checks
All often after a meeting things are not followed through with and will still be not done next time you meet. Progress check any actions that have come out of the meeting with the appropriate team members.

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