How do I lead a more effective meeting?

A lot of people do not like meetings just for the sake of it. A reason is because most meetings are poorly organized, very long, and drifting in different directions depending on the moods of the influential personalities in attendance. This leads to the question what can I do to run more effective and engaging meetings. Below are tips on how one could lead an effective meeting.

Without too much thought an easy way to begin is by making the meetings useful to attendees. Followed by starting the meeting with topics that will draw attention, and ending them with a specific operation required from each person in attendance.

Objectives of the meeting should be Clearly Stated

It would not be easy trying to ensure a productive conversation when a meeting was called to for brainstorming and generating ideas, and half of the attendees are trying to make decisions or being judgmental. It would be easier if a clear goal of the meeting is stated up front to all participants. Hence improving the efficiency and richness of in-meeting discussions.

Everyone Plays

Any gathering can get boring or tiresome if one person speaks throughout the entire session, and meetings are no different. Assigning relevant topics or updates to as many participants as possible giving them a chance to take a more active role in proceedings. You can also collaborate, get everyone involved. Reach out to the attendees and ask for their input, advice or suggestions on the topics you plan on covering in the meeting. Thus making these individuals feel empowered, and are likely to pay more attention.

People Assimilate Differently

A great team is made of people with different talents and strengths, these people also have different ways in which they learn. So taking into consideration the different learning styles of these individuals can create a better environment where all parties feel included, and improves participation. So instead of talking all through a meeting, you could supply visuals (e.g. PowerPoint presentation), create opportunities to interact with participants and let everyone contribute.

Three is a Crowd

Restricting the amount of attendees in a meeting to those who are most needed to be present. This will in turn have your staff spend more time on significant work, and less in non-essential meetings, thus saving time. In turn this allows one to run a more focused and efficient meeting with key players and contributors.

Start and Finish

Always start and end on time. This shows you respect the value of their time. The objectives of the meetings should be made very clear at the beginning. There would be no need for a lengthy agenda at this juncture, make it brief so everyone knows what exactly, the end product of the meeting. An example could be “coming to the end of this meeting we will decide… ” Or, “we are in this meeting to brainstorm, generate ideas, and evaluate them for…” adding a time boundary for each step of the process increases the odds of achieving it. Hence coming to meeting attendees know what to expect. If any pressing issue comes up with an individual another meeting could be arranged to attend to the issue on-on-one.

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