How much of your day is spent attending meetings?

What percentage of them would you say were a good use of your, and the other attendees’ time?

There have been meetings of only a moment which have left impressions for life…
–J. B. Miller

 Effective Meetings

Here’s a recap of proven tips that help:

  • Always have an agenda
  • Start and end on time
  • Rotate the meeting leader/facilitator
  • Begin each meeting with attendees sharing a one minute “experience”
  • State the purpose for being together ex. problem “x” requires resolution; what do we need to do to accomplish “y”; sharing the status of goals, etc.
  • Determine if all key contributors are involved and participating
  • Everyone participates; no one dominates
  • One speaker at a time; no side conversations
  • Discuss issues not personalities
  • Evaluate rather than criticize
  • If it’s a brainstorming session all ideas are accepted
  • Meetings should last between 30 – 60 minutes
  • Conduct staff meetings minimally once a month
  • Establish the day and time for the next meeting and restate all takeaways

What about for more strategic meetings?  Taking a leadership team off-site for a few days is a great way to strategize, encourage creativity, strengthen team relationships, and re-energize your team.  You’ll also want to:

  • Have a clear purpose
  • Identify desired outcomes
  • Determine if attendees should be limited to your team or if a guest speaker or business partner could help you better meet your objective
  • Provide at least 1 month’s advance notice for invited attendees (2 months is even better).
  • Establish a detailed agenda with a timeline and build in “spare” time for hot topics
  • Keep a “parking lot” log of issues or items that require follow-up
  • Have fun!

Wouldn’t it be great if all meetings (and conference calls) left favorable impressions?  Let us know if the tips help!


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