5 Tips for an effective meeting
- blog19 Mar 2019
A conservative estimate shows that an average of 20 hours per week are spent in meetings in the corporate world, which account for almost 50% of work hours in a week. These are not just internal meetings but could also include client meetings and reviews. While many dread meetings, what they call ‘necessary evils’, a few work towards making meetings effective and thus a productive event.
At E-Movers we have evolved a framework for conducting effective meetings which I present in this article as 5 Tips, with the hope that it may benefit others as well.
Communicate the objective
Come prepared for the meeting
Invite the right people
Focus on solution and outcomes
Record minutes and action points
Ensure that you are clear of the objective of the meeting and the desired outcomes. The objective of the meeting must be communicated to the invitees in no uncertain terms.
If the objectives are well defined the participants and the participants know what is expected, then they will come prepared with the information required for the meeting. A well-drafted agenda helps to layout the meeting flow and expectations.
Help them with checklist of the data and information required for the meeting and let them get the reports, memo, minutes required for discussion. The pre-requisites must be well understood and communicated. As a team matures they will know how to prepare for the meeting.
Unlike many business email where the whole team is in cc, it is essential to make a careful list of participants for the meeting. Members must be in the meeting by the virtue of their value-add and not as witnesses. You may have secretarial help. If the right participants are invited, the outcomes are achieved fairly quickly. Unwanted stake-holders in the meeting can hijack and take it off-track.
Meetings must be focused on solutions rather than postmortem. A little time spent on looking at the past and at root causes is sufficient to move forward towards discussing solutions. Wasting time on the past, ascribing blame, countering with ifs-buts are some of the key reasons why meetings fail to achieve objectives. Instead discuss the possible solutions, analyse alternative approaches and try to reach a consensus.
All meetings must have the minutes recorded and circulated to the participants. Each minutes must record the discussion in details, sufficient for a participant as well as the reader to accurately understand what transpired during the meeting. A meeting must affix responsibilities and actions to be accomplished within a defined time-frame.
At E-Movers we use the WWW method. What, Who & When
What = is to be done
Who = is going to do it
When = will it be completed
I hope my 5 Tips for effective meeting are useful to you and I would love to get from you any input that can make meetings more effective.