Making Meetings Effective
Have you ever attended meetings that don’t have closure? When managers are unsure about the issues or opportunities and who is supposed to do what, and by when?
Or perhaps too much talk during the meeting, and not enough action after the meeting?
When meetings lack closure – what is said and what is to be done by who and when, then often some members leave with a feeling that, “Oh, someone must know what to do!”.
To make productivity the focus, I suggest managers close all meetings with a definiteness that all attendees are absolutely certain of what they are supposed to be doing post-meeting.
Here are some tips to close meetings effectively:
- Check that all are aligned. Ask the question, “Are you each aware of where we ended up and what each of you need to do?
- Make sure you ask the attendees, “Do you know what needs to be done before our next meeting? What are the specific tasks needed to be completed and by when?
- Summarise what are the top 5 or 6 things that the meeting accomplished and all attendees agreed to.
- Give feedback to those attendees with what they contributed, what they spoke about specifically, and who owns the actions.
- Ensure you thank everyone attending for their contribution and input before closing off the meeting.
- Follow up on the actions to be taken. Watch for out for signs of procrastination.
Meetings take up time, and it’s a shame when some members don’t perform their actions after the meeting.
Sometimes, this happens when members allow their emotions to take over their thinking.
As the facilitator for the meeting, you must be continually on the lookout for emotions going awry, or if someone is allowed to get away with showing their temper, insisting on their way.
Or perhaps talking over others, bullying by putting down others, silence from some members, reluctance in speaking up, or the manager hogging the entire agenda.
Showing temper is often overt behavior, but often, it can be subdued with the person keeping their thoughts to themselves.
But they may have sabotage in mind as they perceive that they are being ignored.
The facilitator for the meeting must be on-guard for un-resourceful behaviour that derails meeting effectiveness.
Now use some of the tips above and make that next meeting more effective!