Everyone has attended a meeting that they felt was a waste of their time. In the coffee room, you have no doubt overheard colleagues grumbling about how they could be using their time more effectively than sitting at yet another meeting. But it is possible to facilitate productive meetings and keep everyone at the meeting actively engaged.
Here are the top six tips on how to host a successful meeting:
1) Make every meeting matter
Do not use meetings as a place to provide updates. This can be done by phone or email. Use meetings as a place for creative brainstorming or to keep a project on track.
2) Have your meetings on a Tuesday afternoon
Do not host a meeting first thing on a Monday morning, or any morning, for that matter. Mornings are usually not the best times for people to be creative and constructive. Those who are alert in the morning typically want to get caught up on their emails from the day before and settle into their workday. Try hosting your meetings in the afternoon, which has proven to be a successful and effective time for meetings.
3) Stand-up meetings
Want to keep the meeting moving and on point? Try hosting a meeting where everyone has to stand. This is a surefire way to keep the discussion engaged and on track.
4) Define goals in advance
To keep the meeting on time and meet the objectives of the get-together, it is always advisable to circulate the goals of the meeting beforehand. The attendees will know what to expect, come prepared and understand the objectives that need to be met at the meeting.
5) Take charge of the meeting
With every meeting there has to be one person keeping an eye on the clock and the list of objectives. There should be another person taking notes of the meeting and acting as a reminder to the host to keep the gathering on track.
6) Close with an action plan
End your meeting with an action plan, and have the plan distributed to everyone who attended. The plan should include a list of who will be responsible for the next series of tasks, the dates when the tasks are expected to be completed and the time and date of the next meeting.
Meetings do not need to be boring or a waste of time. Bringing people together has proven to be a very effective method of increasing creative energy and finding solutions to longstanding problems. Use these helpful tips and you, too, will be hosting successful and constructive meetings.