Meetings can be either a valuable tool to improve your team or a waste of time and money. The difference in the outcome of most meetings comes down to the person running the meeting and the preparation they put in while planning it. What follows is a list of some helpful tips on running a successful meeting.
Before the meeting:
- Have a clear purpose for a meeting in writing.
- Send out an agenda with all essentials needed for the meeting.
- Only invite those who need to be present.
- Select a location free from interruptions.
- Schedule the meeting at a time best for the attendees.
- Make sure the benefit of having the meeting is greater than the cost.
- Test the need for “regular” meetings. Occasionally don’t hold the meeting or shorten the allotted time and see what happens.
- Be prepared. Know what you’re covering and what essentials are needed.
During the meeting:
- Always start on time. Don’t penalize those who come late, but reward those arriving on time.
- Adhere to the agenda.
- Keep the objective in mind.
- Pay attention to the tone of the meeting — try to keep it positive and fun.
- Have a time limit for the meeting.
- End on time.
After the meeting:
- Send out a recap to participants clearly summarizing what occurred in the meeting. Be sure to record decisions and deadlines.
- Ensure effective follow-up on all decisions/ assignments. List uncompleted items under “Unfinished Business” at the beginning of the next agenda. Request a status report until complete.
Chez Misko is the COO of Wisconsin Athletic Club.