We have all had the misfortune to attend poor meetings. Meetings that go on too long run out of control or achieve nothing. Unfortunately, meetings are a necessary evil in the business world of today. David Barry once commented that meetings and funerals have a lot in common, in particular that most people would rather be somewhere else. However funerals have a clear purpose (to say nice things about the deceased), and a definite endpoint, which are often lacking from meetings.
A good meeting can be highly productive so as busy professionals, it is important to take an hour out of your week to properly plan your meetings and think about how you can make sure that all of your meetings are worthwhile. our top five tips to help you plan your meetings are provided below.
1. Never call or attend a meeting without being clear about why you are going. The purpose of the meeting should be to solve problems, make plans or decide something. We should never hold a meeting to 'talk about' or 'discuss'.
2. Make sure that everyone invited to the meeting actually needs to be there. Everyone is very busy and if they aren't going to add direct value to the meeting question whether or not they really need to be there. Find out if you (or anyone else) only needs to attend part of the meeting.
3. Circulate or ask for an agenda well in advance. That way you and your fellow attendees can be fully prepared for the meeting and make best use of the time available. Be clear about what they need to prepare in advance: There is nothing worse than wasting time bringing people 'up to speed' or searching for the relevant documents.
4. Always attend a meeting with a clear view of what you want to achieve from it. Keep focused on that outcome.
5. Set the start and finish time for the meeting, and stick to them. Your time, and that of everyone attending is precious, and having a predetermined time limit on the meeting should help to keep everyone focus on the outcomes.
More tips on running effective meetings are provided on our website including a free key points sheet. Let's invest in our to make sure that our meetings are the most valuable aspect of our day, and not the most dreaded.