I was recently asked about how to have effective work meetings…I thought I would include my response in my blog…I thought…yep…people might need some quick tips on effective meetings. Spending time in long, drawn out meetings that seem to go nowhere is a big-time stress producer for many people.
Yes meetings can be a problem…
and they can be great.
Meetings are best if there is an agenda for each one…and when people go off on tangents…there is someone to say something like “Can we add that to next week’s meeting…or can that be handled over email?,” etc; and then gently lead the person back to the discussion at hand.
Let’s say you have…a weekly sales meeting…
You could have an agenda that says (eg)-
Current issues (list any current things that need to be addressed)
Long term goals (list any big projects that may need status updates)
Training (sales techniques, etc)
Follow up on any unfinished business
Assign tasks based on discussion
I think one hour is best for most weekly meetings…possibly up to two hours depending on topics that need to be discussed. Also, carefully look at who needs to be at the meeting- and only have those people there- who need to be
Another thing to watch about your own meeting contributions…is to carefully weigh what you say… make sure all of your own contributions meet the purpose of the meeting and are not “devil’s advocate” type of contributions- yes logic and questioning are important- but not every issue requires an exhaustive analysis- many people fall into this.
If you are holding the meeting… stick to your agenda…and keep it moving
These tips also work for other types of meetings (masterminds, fundraising, etc).
Wishing you productive and happy meetings.