I bet that like many people you thought meetings would go by the wayside because of technology or at least there would be fewer meetings. Not true! The reasons meetings
have increased are due in part to the rise in teams and requisite team meetings and technology such as video-conferencing accommodating slashed travel budgets.
Approximately 11 million meetings occur in the U.S. each day! Meetings are essential to an organization’s success yet all experts agree that the main reason meetings are such a waste is because no one really prepares for them and that some may be unnecessary.
I would like to give you some tips as you prepare for meetings this week. Feel free to share these with people in your department or peers.
- Identify the objective for your meeting. If you do not have a clear objective, then there is no sense holding a meeting.
- Distribute an agenda to participants before the meeting. Participants should come prepared for their meeting. Without enough notice, participants cannot adequately prepare to be a contributor.
- Participants should know what is expected of them prior to a meeting. Be as clear as possible with expectations.
- Often, I hear people are invited to meetings and they do not even need to attend. Limit attendance to only those individuals who truly need to be involved.
- Set time limits for the meeting and each topic to be covered. When attending meetings, it is easy for people to get off track. This is not necessarily a bad thing and can generate great discussion. On the other hand, the meeting leader wants to ensure everything that is important gets covered in the meeting.
- Distribute materials in advance. Again, you want participants to be prepared as best they can. Springing something on attendees during the meeting is not a good use of time. Give attendees as much of a heads up as possible.
One phase of meetings that often gets forgotten is the post-meeting stage. So here are some ideas for you.
- Confirm tasks assigned to attendees and deadline dates.
- Send thank you notes.
- Transfer action items to follow-up lists, calendars, and “to-do” folder.
- Send recap of meeting or minutes.
- Update your calendar with future meeting dates.
- Send necessary information to non-attendees or tell alternate’s team leader.
- Get feedback from attendees.
- Make note of “personal lessons learned.”
I hope these ideas are helpful as you go through your week and weeks ahead. If you want to dig deep into meeting planning and execution, I’m hosting a live e-course Tuesday, February 20 at 10:00 am PT.
Wishing you an amazing week.