There are many reasons why some organizations get into the trap of having too many meetings. One of these is that it’s easy to send calendar invites without thinking about the meeting’s purpose. Also, the rise of hybrid work and remote working styles makes switching from one call to another easier. However, planning and thinking ahead can help you manage your meetings and maximize your team’s time.
According to Forbes, about 55 million meetings are conducted daily, and about half don’t achieve anything noteworthy. Here are some critical steps to effective meetings to help you get the most out of your team’s time.
Have a Goal
Before you start a meeting, establish the meeting’s purpose and set clear goals. The goal is to help the team develop practical ideas and improve the efficiency of the meeting. For instance, your meeting could be focused on brainstorming or planning a holiday party. A clear goal can motivate the team and make the meeting more productive.
Write an Agenda
After you have established the meeting’s purpose and set clear goals, it’s time to start writing an agenda. This document is your guide to the meeting and can help keep everyone focused on the goal. It also provides a list of talking points and other details to help the team develop effective ideas.
Get Input on the Agenda
Before sending out the agenda, give everyone a chance to review it and add their ideas. This will help ensure that you have the most relevant talking points. In addition, having a well-designed agenda can help keep the meetings more productive.
Have Talking Points
One of the most critical factors you should consider when creating an effective agenda is having a list of talking points relevant to the meeting’s objectives. This can help everyone know who is going to talk about the topic, and it can lead to group discussions.
Find a Note-Taker
Before the meeting begins, make sure that you have a note-taker assigned to take the meeting’s notes. This person can be the same every time, or they can be rotated. A dedicated note-taker can help keep the meeting’s notes organized and provide a record of important decisions.
Take Private Notes
While having a note-taker is essential, taking notes for your own use is also helpful. This can help keep the conversation focused and allow you to remember everything happening in the meeting. However, don’t use note-taking as a smokescreen. Instead, use it to keep yourself focused on the task at hand and stay engaged with the group.
Create Action Items During the Meeting
As the meeting ends, make sure that everyone has an action item that they can use to discuss their expectations. These can be created based on the open ends of the talking points.
Finish By Creating a Plan
If you’ve already given everyone an action item, make sure that they leave the meeting with a clear timeline so that they can follow through with the next steps. This will help keep everyone on track and make the meeting more productive.
After the meeting, everyone can share their feedback with you, and you should do so after sending out the agenda and all of the action items. Feedback is a two-way street, so make sure that everyone follows through with their word.