Ten Effective Meeting Tips
From our good friends @Stagen.
1. DON’T MEET
Consider this: Don’t meet. Ask yourself, “Is this meeting really necessary? Can we accomplish the same objectives through email updates and then use regular rhythm meetings (see below) for necessary collaboration and problem solving?”
2. THE WAY YOU SHOW UP IN MEETINGS MATTERS
As a leader, your actions set the tone. Employees notice, your example spreads, and cultural habits get set. Consider every meeting an opportunity to “walk the talk” around meeting effectiveness.
3. INSTITUTIONALIZE RHYTHM MEETINGS
At times, ad hoc meetings are necessary. However, the most effective leaders strive to have 90 percent of internal meetings on a regular recurring rhythm. These “structural meetings” are purposeful, recur on the same day and time, and include a consistent group of attendees. Others can be invited to join on an as-needed basis.
4. DON’T SCRAMBLE
Communicate the purpose and objectives of the meeting in advance and ensure attendees understand what preparation is expected. Use a written agenda, keep the meeting on track, and drive to results.
5. SCHEDULE 50-MINUTE MEETINGS AND START AND END ON TIME
Schedule 50-minute meetings within a 60-minute time block. Start and end on time, thus allowing for restroom breaks and on-time transitions to the next hour of meetings.
6. USE GROUND RULES
Ground rules are basic, agreed upon guidelines that help attendees orient to meeting intentions and boundaries. Examples: phones off and laptops down, everyone participates, OK to call a time out, etc.
7. START EVERY MEETING WITH A CHECK-IN
Leading effective meetings is both a science and an art. Do a quick check-in with attendees to identify if anyone is distracted, not feeling well, or stressed. Empathizing with others can positively impact the group dynamic and improve the productivity of the meeting.
8. DOCUMENT DECISIONS AND ACTION ITEMS
Capture and date key decisions for ongoing reference to minimize future confusion and/or conflict. Ensure execution accountability by documenting all committed action items and assigning them to a person with a deliverable date.
9. CAPTURE OPEN LOOPS AND PARKING LOT ITEMS
Keep your meetings on track by capturing a running list of open loops (issues to be resolved before the close of the meeting) and parking lots items (issues outside the scope of the current meeting that need to be addressed in future meetings).
10. IMPLEMENT A CLOSING PRACTICE
Reserving five minutes at the end of every meeting for a closing practice can deepen relationships and boost morale. Invite attendees to “check out,” share a take-away, or even offer appreciations to others in the meeting.