- Define a Clear Purpose for the Meeting
Before calling for a meeting with team members or prospects first ask:
Why and what for?
A meeting can only be effective if its purpose and goals are clear. This also involves reaching a certain outcome, and this outcome is most likely related to the purpose.
A clear purpose must be planned in advance before you send invites to the people involved. Make sure you can articulate why you’re meeting and the hoped-for result.
- Send an Agenda
One of the most important ways to keep your meetings on track is to create and agenda of your tasks, and then share a “draft” of this agenda with attendees along with the meeting invitation. Ask your attendees to review the agenda to see if there are other items they would like to have added to the meeting. Also check confirm that they are comfortable with the amount of time you have selected to cover off everything in the meeting. Rarely will attendees want to increase the length of a meeting!
- Invite Less People
Ask yourself ruthlessly: Do all these people really need to attend the meeting? Most of the time, often a brief summary by email will work just as well to those whose attendance is not critical to the meeting.
If you can reduce a half-hour meeting’s attendee list by just two people whose presence isn’t essential, that’s an hour of productive time you have gained!
The purpose of most meetings is to make decisions, not to simply share information. It’s easy to view the meeting as a waste of time when attendees don’t feel the discussed topic is relevant to them.
- Cover the Important Items First
When you draft up the agenda, apply the 80/20 rule. Organize the agenda so that the top 20% items of importance are the first items to be discussed. This way, if you run out of time, you will have covered the items that represent 80% of the value of the meeting before the time runs out. Attention spans can dwindle as a meeting goes on so having the important items at the start means you have greater attention and engagement from the participants.
- Post-Meeting: Send a Summary and Actionable Points to Everyone
A huge part of having great meetings is what you do “after” the meeting is over.
Summarize the notes and action items that have come out of the meeting and distribute these to those who attended. This helps move the needle on topics discussed in the meeting by highlighting what actions need to be taken post-meeting. It does no good to make a decision, but then not act on it; in fact, that’s exactly how you end up having a series of meetings that feel like “Groundhog Day”.
If you are needing help energizing your team, feel free CONTACT US. to explore how Zubak & Associates can add value to your business!
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