Whether you want to tackle some points or get everyone on the same page, you would need to manage to get your message across in order to be effective in meetings. In this technologically-cracked era, meetings remain to be a formidable part of any business function. Meetings are done in different modes or styles. Yes, there is no one-size-fits-all type of meeting because it caters to a diverse team that have different personalities as well as learning and motivational styles.
There are four elements that make meetings run effectively:
- Organised topics that point to a specific objective.
- Time-efficient and concise.
- Strategically planned to cultivate teamwork.
- Responsive and structured to get opinions heard and discussed.
Taking note of these four elements when planning a meeting would help you create a seamless and systematic route to managing meetings effectively.
There is a reason why meetings seem to get much less impact now more than ever. Some would even say that it’s a waste of time. Meetings would usually be conducted without taking the audience into consideration. Nobody wants to listen passively to a long stretch of musings or monologue. In a very dynamic team, active collaborative play should be injected in every meeting to make everyone want to attend to one. Here are strategic tips on how to manage meetings effectively and get your team’s attention right when you need it:
- Establish an objective and stick to it. You have to determine a clear objective for the meeting. The agenda should be circled on achieving an outcome or discussing a change in the brand. The purpose of the meeting is the focal point of everything else. This is what will keep you right on track. Do not be dissuaded with other concerns. Prioritise on a specific pressing objective and stick to it.
- Know who to invite. Attendees to the meeting should also be informed of the purpose of the meeting to prepare staff members, allocate some time for research, and get them to contribute their ideas. Also, take the time to determine who gets to attend the meeting. Call on people who are crucial and relevant to the meeting agenda. People who get invited to a meeting that doesn’t really require their presence or even their specialisation would take this as a waste of precious time. Send out invites at least a week before the scheduled meeting (except emergency meetings), so that the attendees would be able to prioritise and organise his or her schedule with the meeting in mind.
- Don’t waste time. In a perpetually fast-paced world that we have now, time is definitely a luxury. Meetings should only take less than an hour for it to be effective. You cannot hold or sustain people’s attention for longer than that duration. People would really appreciate it if you start and end meetings on time. Time is a precious commodity and every second count. Also, do not allow one or two people to monopolise the floor or meeting discussions. Give everyone fair play by allotting an equal share of time for each person who wants to say his or her piece. If you have a reputation of constructing time-efficient and engaging meetings, people would surely flock to it right away.
- Follow up. No matter how completely structured and detailed a meeting is, people would often have different connotations or would forget some tasks or roles mentioned in the meeting. In order to avoid this from happening, you must do a quick follow-up of the meeting within 24 hours after the meeting. Send out memos or notes via email to remind and highlight deadlines, tasks, or any changes just so everyone is on the same page.
Managing meetings effectively is not just about dealing with ideas but more so, people. It’s a meeting of minds and even a so-called clash of ideas. Differences can also bring out the uniqueness in people. Contention or mingling of ideas is encouraged in order to arrive at the best answers and solutions. A meeting could be labelled a chore or a bore by some people in an organisation. Regardless, meetings are a necessity for an organisation to thrive and succeed.