Tips on how to make a meeting successful will help you considerably in making sure that you have a meaningful and productive meeting that will eventually lead to the growth and development of your organization.
How often have you heard this statement – “That meeting was a waste of time.”? What makes a successful meeting? Effective and smart decisions are the lifeline of all businesses, and an effective decision-making meeting can help the business grow, prosper and thrive. An unsuccessful meeting, on the other hand, can mean a death nail to a growing company.
Listed below are seven tips on how to make a meeting successful. Follow this in your next meeting, and you can easily avoid the usual discomfort that you face just before the ‘big’ meeting.
Is a Meeting Required, or Can it be Avoided?
Before you hit the road for the next meeting, determine first and foremost if it is required in the first place. Analyze and review why exactly you need to meet, and what all needs to be discussed.
See if you can arrange for a telephone or video conference call instead of meeting in person as it will save time, and money, and energy. This is one of the many effective meeting tips that every business owner or manager ought to know.
Plan the Meeting and Be Prepared
Productive and effective meetings that produce positive results start with proper planning. Determine what you want to accomplish with the meeting and then pick the right employees from various departments to help you plan the meeting. Establish one or multiple goals for your meeting.
All participants must be provided with an agenda a day or two before the meeting, and that must be monitored during the meeting. An effective meeting agenda helps min accomplishment of goals.
The agenda must include:
• a list of attendees
• meeting time and location
• list of points or topics to be covered
• description of the meeting’s objectives
• names of employees who will be addressing each topic
• background details of the topics to be discussed if required
Evaluate the Attendee List
When you decide that a meeting is required to accomplish specific goals, you must also list down all the attendees who need to be present at the meeting. If the meeting involves a review of reports, documents, and other material, send it to the concerned attendees in order to save time.
Limiting the number of attendees is a great idea. Remember that while a meeting is not the best way to share detailed information, it is most helpful when you want to share sensitive information.
If you see any unfamiliar names in the attendee list before you enter the conference or meeting room, make sure you find out more information on them. This is one of the best tips on how to make a meeting successful.
Appoint a Meeting Leader to Ensure Accomplishment of Goals
The meeting leader is the one to set a productive and positive tone for interaction among the meeting participants. Effective meeting facilitation begins with goal reviews, agenda, and anticipated outcomes.
The facilitator helps participants stay productive and focused. An effective facilitator or meeting leader ensures the accomplishment of the set goals (decided during the meeting) and keeps participants on track.
Encourage Active Listeners
Encourage active listeners as listening consumes energy. An active listener sits back, listens attentively using non-verbal gestures (eye contact, nodding), takes down notes, asks questions and even “mirrors back” all that has been discussed to ensure they have understood it properly.
You can be in a meeting and still not “present” as you mind be elsewhere. So, when you notice an active listener, encourage them to participate and provide them with all the attention required. This is one of the many tips on how to make a meeting successful.
First Thing Comes First; Avoid Distraction by Focusing on Side Issues
Whether it a meeting or any other situation, address the most important things first. Once you get them out of the way, you can focus on other issues. This way, you can make sure that you don’t run short of time.
Another thing to avoid during a meeting is to be distracted by side issues as that is very likely to happen in a meeting. If that happens, you are likely to lose control of your agenda and the meeting itself. If any issues that are not part of your agenda comes up during the meeting, push it away or decide to discuss it at a later date, or fix another meeting to discuss the same.
Meeting Must Be Documented
Make sure that minutes of the meeting are distributed to all attendees within a day or two after the meeting. Everyone present during the meeting must have a record of it.
The minutes must list the names of people assigned to accomplish specific tasks. The absence of a meeting will lead to questions of who said what and who committed what.
Ready to Go!
Even though there are many more tips that can be given, following the seven tips on how to make a meeting successful listed above will ensure a productive and fulfilling meeting that will most certainly lead to the company’s short-term and even long-term growth.