Guidelines for Effective Meetings
GENERAL GUIDELINES AND CONSIDERATIONS
- Necessity: Is the meeting necessary? Can the objectives be accomplished using another channel? For example, would an email be effective or could part of the information be provided on the meeting agenda and require no discussion?
- People: Are the right people at the table? In the age of transparency, it is important to consider who needs to be at a meeting for input and decision.
- Time: Consider the time meetings are held. What time will be most productive? A shorter breakfast meeting?
- Problem to be solved: Meetings are opportunities for collaboration and problem-solving. Is the purpose of your meeting to resolve issues or problems?
- Consider: What’s in it for me? for attendees.
MAKE MEETINGS MORE MEANINGFUL
- Information for the meeting is sent out in advance – not reviewed at the meeting.
- Start on time, end on time.
- Set norms for technology.
- Follow up on relevant action items in a time frame agreed upon.
PRIOR TO THE MEETING
- Send all meeting materials and agenda at least 24 hours in advance to provide time for review.
- Ensure the right people are at the table for the meeting.
DURING THE MEETING
- Start on time
- Assign key roles
- Scribe – take minutes/notes with action items
- Weed whacker – keep meeting on pace and focused
- Review agenda at high level
- Start with wins – focus on positive
- Follow up on prior action items
- Review new information
- Review strategic results that indicate performance levels
- Manage personalities
- Elicit input from all
- Manage sidebar conversations and ineffective dialogue
- Summarize action steps with ownership and timelines
- Evaluate the meeting
- End on time
AFTER THE MEETING
- Send minutes/notes within 48 hours
- Include action items with owner and next review
- Follow up on action items before the next meeting
- Cascade information to other team members