updated - July 8, 2020 Wednesday EDT
Do you associate the word "meeting" with "productivity"?
If you said no to this, then you need to rethink how you approach meetings. While many people may think meetings can be a waste of time, when done properly they can have your team motivated and ready to reach the next level.
However, it doesn't happen by accident. You need to know how to run an effective meeting to achieve this.
Read on for some effective meeting strategies that work.
Have Clear Objectives
No one likes a meeting when a manager drones on about a number of topics that may not relate to them. When calling a meeting, make sure you know exactly why you're doing it.
If it's an important decision that needs collective input, you can send your team some details so they can brainstorm before sitting around the conference table.
To help with clarity, you can create an agenda so everyone is literally on the same page. That way your group is less likely to go off-topic or come away not being sure of the next steps.
Invite The Right People
Having the right minds in the room can make a meeting run more effectively. Be sure that the attendees you choose have a role related to the meeting topic, and will be able to contribute something valuable.
Also keep in mind that if you choose to call a meeting with many people, it can become more expensive to find a suitable venue (and serve food if needed.) A solution to this is to bring others into the meeting via phone call, and having unlimited conference call service can go a long way.
Identify 'Parking Lot' Items
When team members get together, there will be a good chance that points will be discussed that aren't on the agenda. However, as passionate as people can be about these side topics, you shouldn't let them take over the purpose of the meeting.
Instead, use what's known as a "parking lot" approach. The concept is this: you acknowledge the other topics that people bring up, and then write them down. The items in this "parking lot" can be explored further in a future meeting, and will be included in the meeting notes.
Finish By Outlining Actions
You can have a great discussion about tackling issues, but without clear direction, nothing will be accomplished.
Be sure to identify a list of actions that individuals or a group should take following the meeting to achieve the goals. You should also place deadlines on certain tasks, as well as following up about the items in a future meeting.
Consider putting all of these action items into an email to the entire group after the meeting.
Learn How To Run an Effective Meeting
When it comes to how to run an effective meeting, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
Not only do you need a clear objective and agenda, but you also need to keep attendees on the main topic while also acknowledging other concerns for future discussion. You should also close the meeting by identifying actions to be taken.
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