Meetings are an essential part of organisational life, yet research suggests that just 40% of CEOs’ meetings achieve their objectives. Try the following tips for a more successful outcome next time.
The objective: Clarify the purpose of the meeting. Is it decision-making? Information sharing? Brainstorming? Planning? You should be able to complete this statement: ‘At the end of the meeting, I want to have achieved…’.
Do not hold any unnecessary meetings: Find the balance between productive use of time and the need for good communication.
Be prepared: Draw up an agenda and ensure it is circulated well in time. The agenda should include the start and finish time. This allows people to plan their work and feel confident that the meeting won’t run over.
Invitees: Invite the right people with the authority to act on decisions made. People need to see the point of their presence and understand what they are expected to contribute. In addition, they need to understand how attending your meeting will further their agenda.
Delegate leadership: Delegate authority for meeting organisation and management to a member of your team. Use meetings as a skill building process for your staff.
Manage the process: Manage airtime so that everyone contributes. Draw out silent people and rein in those who take over the airwaves. Balance discussion with keeping on topic. Begin and end on time.
What next?: People need to see the link between what is said and what happens next. Conclude with a summary of the topic and the actions agreed. Keep minutes, hold people accountable for actions and revisit decisions taken at each subsequent meeting.
This article was first published in the August, 2016 edition of Accountancy Ireland