We’ve all been there – sitting in a meeting that seems to go on for eternity, which concludes with no real outcome. Is there anything more demoralising? While Pinpoint appreciates that people may have their preferred meeting styles, there are some vital aspects that we believe need to be adhered to. These key fundamentals help guarantee a successful meeting every time.
We’ve drawn upon years of experience and compiled the top five fundamentals that you need to get right to maximise the success of your meetings.
Even small changes will achieve huge improvements.
1. Need – do you need to hold a meeting?We know this might sound obvious, a little condescending in fact, but you would be surprised at the amount of drawn-out unnecessary meetings we’ve sat through!
If it can be relayed or instructed over email or a news bulletin, opt for that route. Firstly, you won’t waste valuable productivity time. But also, employees won’t feel like their time was wasted and they will have more time to carry out the tasks they’ve been assigned.
2. Participants – who should be there?
If the meeting is centred on the finance department, does your whole marketing team need to be there? Choose methodically, and wisely, or you risk losing focus. Other employees might use the meeting as an opportunity to bring up issues in their own department.
3. Structure and agenda – what are the aims of your meeting?
If you fail to plan, you must prepare to fail… in front of your entire team, destabilising your professional position. Failure to create and adhere to a rigid schedule will undoubtedly mean you are unsuccessful in broaching all the topics you set out to.
Sending out the agenda to those who are attending prior to the meeting is advised. State that you welcome feedback from your staff, as you must allow room for participative input from the off.
Allocate proportioned time to each topic. Why not use a stopwatch? It’s a fair and clear way on progressing the meeting, eliminating the risk of offending.
4. Action – how will you meet the decisions made?Ensure you have processes in place to reach a fair and democratic decision. Clearly map out the steps you will take to reach your objectives as a team.
If you haven’t yet settled who will be assigned each task, inform your team that it will be decided at a date in the near future. If possible, set deadlines for when tasks need to be completed by and targets reached. This way if anyone thinks it is unrealistic timeframe or they are unable to complete their part due to other commitments, you are aware prior to delegating jobs.
5. Follow up – do you think a meeting would be as effective without one?Hard work and well-developed ideas will only translate into positive action if you are consistent with following up after meetings. It is a professional approach, which in turn should insight professionalism and work drive from staff. How can you expect your staff to be driven if you don’t bother to follow up important meetings?
Ideally, the best time to follow up is on the same day as the meeting – ideas are still fresh and it should stimulate immediate action.
If you take these points on board, you’re on track for instantly better meetings.