How to Get the Most Out of Meetings (Part 3)

Meetings are a part of running a business. Instead of complaining about the huge time suck that meetings have a tendency to be, we can fix them. Meetings, when run properly, benefit a company and the individuals involved. This is part three of the three part series on “Getting the Most Out of Meetings”.

Yesterday we discussed what should be covered at meetings.

Today’s topic is: How Should the Meeting Be Conducted

As yesterday’s post suggested, everyone coming to the meeting should receive a copy of the agenda and the meeting’s purpose ahead of time. Meetings should get a specific start time, with everyone involved expected to show up on time and be ready. Too much time is wasted in meetings just waiting for everyone to get ready to begin.

The meeting should have a leader, someone to facilitate getting through the agenda. He or she does not need to be in charge of the department or the specific project, but should be familiar with the goals and the agenda so that the meeting moves in the right direction.

When the meeting starts, briefly review the purpose and get going. Don’t waste time on a long recap of why you’re all here.

Move from topic to topic, down the agenda, never straying too far off. Let each person have his or her say, but don’t let anyone ramble or take up too much time. No topic should be discussed for more than 5 minutes. Keep a quick pace and people will stay interested.

If a topic requires it, create an action step with someone responsible for it. This leads towards a goal and makes sure someone takes ownership of the task.

At the end of the meeting, briefly review any decisions that were made and any action steps that were assigned. Plan the next meeting, ask if there are any questions, and adjourn.

The best meetings are 30 minutes or less. For staff meetings or general update sessions, even shorter is preferred.

Did you like this 3-part series on meetings? Let me know what you think in the comments below.