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How to have an effective meeting

Posted on August 1, 2018 at 10:50 AM


We all wonder at times as a leader is anyone listening to us?  Ask yourself, am I providing any value to others?  If not, then people are not listening to you and if they are not listening then most likely they are not following.  

As a leader; if you don't have any followers then you are not a leader! Let's start out with a simple plan on how to gain the attention of your staff, team, organization, etc.  We must provide influence to others and allow them to see the entire picture of our vision.  This start by establishing an Effective Meeting. Start with establishing a purpose of the meeting.  This is often forgotten or taken for granted by the leader to explain the reason for the meeting. Focus on the content and topics that support the meeting and do not waiver with other miscellaneous items that can get off topic.  Make the meeting legitimate with all participants.  If you can't write down the purpose of the meeting then do not hold the meeting.

Here are some things that are overlooked at times:  1.  Select Discipliners.  Someone to hold the meeting in check and bring everyone back to the topic either than yourself.  This brings ownership. 2.  Select team of participants that will be in the meeting.  Again, an effective meeting should be made up of those that have a portion of responsibility to what the meeting is about.  Having the entire organization or too many can really cause major distractions. 3.  Determine the size of the facility or room needed for the meeting and resources that will need to be used, such as; overhead projectors, Connectivity, TV monitors, podium.  Ensure the facility or room is available when you have scheduled the meeting and by all means, make sure all your people are available to attend.   Once established begin with agenda items - solicit from team members and prime with suggestions so that it will provide ownership to those in attendance.  This is not your meeting.  Remember, in order to get buy-in or ownership it has to be a team meeting.  You are only facilitating.  So now the leader should send the invites with only pertinent information.  Do not water it down or give too much information.  

Give the following info:   Purpose, Proposed agenda, Time - beginning to end, Location and of course the date. The day of the meeting make sure you welcome and appreciate all to the meeting and say how important there role is part of this meeting for success of the team.  Give an opening statement and allow time for it to sink in and then follow it up with introductions of all in attendance and their responsibility.  Make sure that you have posted the purpose of the meeting on all the walls of your meeting room to show the importance.  Establish note a note taking process to capture the important discussion so nothing gets overlooked or forgotten.  Before you begin, verify the agenda and be able to hold the participants to the agenda! Layout the rules:

Participants Responsibility - Provide content,  Establish rules -don't attack.

Facilitators Role:  Content process - Contributionsof participants, Equal airtime, Tool applications, Timelines, Interactions.

As the Faciliatator or Leader of the meeting here are some notes to self.  If possible switch facilitators so expertise can contribute.  Stand up and shut up.  This allows you to sit down and let discussion flow.  Monitor the resources and flip charts or powerpoint.

Make sure that you have discussed with all the particiapants an overtime limit should the meeting go beyound what was planned!

When ending the meeting it is very important to provide a summary of the meeting prior to all leaving.  Make sure that action plans have been established and individuals have been assigned for next meeting or follow-up to open ended questions of tasks.  Provide the activity that will be necessary to accomplish and the person who will be responsible and lastly ensure those assigned are comfortable with teh deadline date and are agreeable to it.  

Finally, open the floor for final questions.  St up the following meeting if needed.  

THrough experience,the more you value others time the more effective you will be as a leader and conducting effective meetings.


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