Effective Meeting Strategies – Simple Winning Formula
Whether you’re a seasoned project manager or new to the role, leading successful meetings is essential to keeping your team on track and ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget. But with so many different personalities and working styles in the mix, it can be challenging to keep everyone focused and engaged.
Here are some guidelines for effective meetings that will help you run productive, successful meetings every time.
Create a Meeting Agenda
The first step to an effective meeting is creating a meeting agenda. The agenda should be distributed to all attendees in advance of the meeting so that they can prepare any necessary materials. The agenda should also be posted in a visible location during the meeting so that everyone can refer to it as needed.
At a minimum, the agenda should include the following items:
• The purpose of the meeting
• A list of attendees
• The date and start/end times of the meeting
• An outline of the topics to be discussed
• Any action items or decisions that need to be made
• The name of the person who will be leading the meeting
If there are any confidentiality concerns or sensitive topics that will be discussed, this should also be noted on the agenda.
Start and End on Time
It’s important to start and end meetings on time. This shows respect for everyone’s time and helps to keep meetings focused and concise. If possible, start meetings 5-10 minutes early so that attendees have time to grab a coffee or use the restroom before getting started. And if a meeting is running long, don’t hesitate to end it early rather than letting it drag on unnecessarily.
Keep Meetings Small
Whenever possible, try to keep meetings small. This will help keep conversations focused while making it easier for everyone to participate. Consider breaking into smaller groups for more targeted discussions if you have a large team. You can also hold virtual meetings via conference call or video chat if attendance is not required from everyone on the team.
3 guidelines for effective meetings:
The first step to effective meeting management is purposeful planning. Before calling a meeting, ask whether or not the meeting is essential. If it is, then determine the meeting’s purpose and what you hope to accomplish. Once you’ve done that, you can start planning the agenda and logistics.
Communication is Key
Effective communication is essential for successful meetings. Make sure to send out a clear and concise agenda beforehand, so everyone knows what to expect. During the meeting, keep everyone engaged by encouraging participation and avoiding side conversations. Finally, follow up after the meeting with minutes or action items, so everyone is on the same page in the future.
End on a Positive Note
Ending your meeting on a positive note is just as important as starting it off on the right foot. Thank everyone for their time and input, and reiterate the main points of what was discussed. This will help ensure that everyone leaves the meeting feeling motivated and inspired to continue working hard on the project.
So many meetings do not add value. They are by definition defects or our time and our effort. By following these simple guidelines, you can run effective, successful meetings to keep your projects on track and your team engaged. Remember to create a meeting agenda, start and end on time, and keep meetings small whenever possible. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to leading productive, effective meetings every time.