1. Determine the objective of the meeting and the outcomes you would like to achieve
Once you know what your objective and your outcomes are, you can quite easily create an agenda.
Sometimes it is worth holding a team meeting just for the social side. Don’t underestimate the value of giving people an opportunity to unwind during a stressful project.
2. Create your agenda
Determine the topics you need to discuss, put the urgent ones toward the top and create logical groupings.
Create a logical order if there are dependencies on the agenda items.
Remove “Any Other Business” for a more efficient meeting; you can always add a last minute item if necessary.
Use bullet points to flesh out an agenda item.
Allocate timings to each item based on a “needs / deserves” approach.
Encourage people to keep to time by:
I. Get attendees to stick to the point – be consistent and it will get easier
II. Remind them of the time.
III. Lead by example, keep your own conclusions concise and relevant
IV. Use a dynamic tone to encourage urgency
V. Use body language signals like leaning forward, making eye contact with the speaker, raise your eyebrows and nod quickly to indicate when a point has been made.
3. Inviting others
The ideal number of people in a meeting is between four and seven; ten is manageable.
If more people are required, schedule them to attend only at the times where they can add value, hold separate smaller meetings or organise a representative from a smaller group to attend with the group’s comments or proposals.
4. Chairing the meeting
Ensure everyone at the meeting knows everyone else. If this isn’t the case, go around the table and allow people to introduce themselves.
State the objective of the meeting, provide an overview of the agenda, the background to each item, and possible courses of action.
For efficiency, create a sense of urgency without rushing. Use the following structure:
I. Examine the evidence for each agenda item
II. Discuss the implications
III. Arrive at a conclusion
IV. Form a decision
5. Recording meeting minutes
Meeting minutes are essential for continuing the momentum after the meeting. There should be no room for doubt about what happened at the meeting and what is going to happen next, who is responsible for carrying out specific actions and by when.
As chair, regardless of who writes down the minutes, you are responsible; they don’t have to be lengthy but they do have to be clear.
The contents of meeting minutes should include:
I. The time, date and, if necessary, the place of the meeting, and who chaired it.
II. The names of those in attendance and apologies for absence. If an attendee arrives late and important decisions are made in their absence it might be prudent to note this also.
III. Each agenda item discussed, the key arguments, decisions and action points and, of course, the name of the person responsible for carrying out the action points.
IV. If a follow on meeting is required, the date and time of this meeting.
If you’d like to know more about how to achieve more in life or business, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.
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