Key Learning Outcomes

  • Establish the purpose and goal of the meeting, and confirm that it is necessary.
  • Recognise that meetings are opportunities for you to share and distribute information, build commitment and for problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Identify who should attend the meeting and where and when it should be held, and what should be included in the agenda.
  • Apply our ground rules and guidelines to ensure your meetings are effective and worthwhile for all participants.

Article

Have you ever left a meeting feeling nothing was achieved other than wasting your time? Of course you have – we all have! As they say, time is money. So, it is important to make meetings count. When you think about it, every hour-long meeting is not just taking up a working hour of your own, but also an hour for every participant. For example, if a meeting involves 10 participants, this equates to 10 hours that could be spent productively elsewhere in the business. Here are a few key tips that will ensure your meetings are effective and productive.

Preparation and planning

The first step in running an effective meeting is to determine why you are having it. If you think about this before you call the meeting, you will be clear on the purpose and goal of the meeting and be certain that it is necessary. The main reasons for holding a meeting are:

Once the purpose and goal of the meeting are clear, you need to determine who needs to attend the meeting, and when and where the meeting is to be held. In addition, elect someone to lead the meeting and someone to take notes.

The final step in the meeting preparation is to distribute an agenda to all participants. Even if you are meeting on a regular basis, such as a weekly sales meeting, an agenda is still required as it will enhance the effectiveness of the meeting.

The agenda should include the following elements:

Set clear ground rules for meetings within your business.

Following are examples of the ground rules that we use in our meetings:

Guidelines

Here are some guidelines that will help ensure that the meeting is an effective and worthwhile use of everyone’s time:

The final step is to ensure that meeting minutes are distributed to all participants and that all tasks have been allocated with due dates. The minutes should also state when and where any follow-up meeting will take place.

If you follow this guide you will find your meetings become more effective and more productive. If a meeting is well run, participants will leave feeling energised and motivated, rather than bored or frustrated.

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