Planning for an Effective Meeting
Thoughtful planning in advance of a meeting is the most effective way to ensure efficient use of everyone’s time. It is important for the facilitator to carefully consider the purpose of the meeting and what participants will be asked to do before, during, and after the meeting. These details are best communicated through the meeting agenda.
Meeting Details to Consider
Review and answer the questions below in advance of your next meeting. If you are unable to answer one or more of the questions, consider if the meeting is necessary or if additional time to prepare is required. It is better to cancel a meeting, than to ask for others’ time when the details are not clear.
• Why are you meeting?
• Who is invited? Why these people (answer for each invitee)?
• What should be done in advance of the meeting?
• What will we accomplish at this meeting (answer for the specific instance, if part of a standing meeting appointment or meeting series)?
• What activities will we do to accomplish our outcome?
• What are likely next steps?
• How will we evaluate our meeting?
Sample meeting agenda
When distributed in advance, the meeting agenda communicates the purpose and intended outcomes. It helps people know what to expect and keeps them focused on the goal of the scheduled time. Use of a standard meeting agenda establishes consistency and creates clarity for meeting attendees. This simple tool focuses the team on the purpose of the meeting and structures the time together.
Meeting Follow-up actions
• Cascade relevant information to other team members or teams
• Schedule time for problem solving of issues recognized during meeting
• Provide necessary training