Long and boring meetings…..
I recently ran a training session with one of my clients on how to run effective meetings. This particular business had dozens of internal meetings each month and found that they often over ran, weren’t focused and effective and involved a number of people that the content wasn’t always relevant to. If any of this strikes a chord, try some of the below Top Tips I shared with them: 1) Each meeting should have a clearly defined purpose. Without this it’s difficult to work out who should attend the meeting, what the agenda should be and what the meeting frequency should be. To figure out the purpose of each meeting simply ask yourself ‘at the end of this meeting I want the group to……?’ 2) Having clarified the purpose of the meeting, is a meeting still the best format? Could an email, noticeboard or something else be a better communication vehicle? At least 30% of meetings should not be meetings! 3) Meeting are supposed to create rhythm in your business. They are supposed to keep people consistently focused and accountable. With your meeting purpose in mind, consider the appropriate frequency for each of your meetings. i.e. quarterly/monthly/weekly/daily. In my experience shorter, more focused and frequent meetings are best. Once you have decided on your frequency stick to this rhythm no matter what. 4) Use a timed agenda and stick to it. Be clear on what needs to be covered to achieve the purpose of each meeting and ensure that you spend no more than the allotted time on each point. Circulate the agenda before each meeting so that everyone is prepared. This could save loads of time by reducing fluffy poorly considered conversations. 5) Focused chairing is vital! Keeping participants to time, ensuring that conversations don’t drift and summarising the key points and actions all help to keep a meeting relevant and effective. 6) Finally, ensure that agreed actions are recorded during the meeting and summarised at the end. My view is that attendees should make their own notes, not wait until the minutes are circulated. In fact, for most meetings I wouldn’t even bother with minutes. Instead use an action sheet that lists Who, What & When. WHO WHAT WHEN 2017 Don’t forget to follow up on agreed actions during the next meeting and break actions down to what can be achieved by the next meeting only. If an action does not have a short deadline or is too overwhelming to know where to start, chances are that it won’t get completed! (trust me on this as I have spent many hours learning this lesson the hard way) If you want your meetings to become something that people actually look forward to then apply each of these points precisely as described above. You may want to start with a blank piece of paper and review each meeting against the Top Tips! Any other business? PS: check out the Buying Customers Seminar with legendary business coach and multi millionaire Brad Sugars www.buyingcustomers.com