Thursday Management Series

Are your meetings effective? Really?


My experience with attending meetings has always been dreadful in the past. I have either caught myself sleeping with my eyes open or constantly checking my watch as if the time has paused. I have come out of meetings thinking why was this meeting called in the first place and did anyone really pay attention.

There are bad meetings and then there are good meetings. Bad meetings don’t have a strong conclusion, make everyone drowsy, don’t serve any purpose as hardly anyone is listening and waste the time of people attending it. Good meetings, on the other hand, should do just the opposite. But, how can you make sure that you are conducting a meeting that will fall under the good category. So, here I share some useful tips that will make your meetings highly effective –

  1. Conduct a meeting only if the message cannot be conveyed via an email or some other written means. If an email can serve the purpose, avoid meetings!
  2. If you have to conduct a meeting (maybe even on a regular basis, like weekly or daily), make sure you have an agenda set and conveyed to all the participants in advance.
  3. Invite people who are only required or will be benefitted from the said agenda or purpose.
  4. Make sure you start the meeting on time and stick to time limit decided. If you have scheduled the meeting to last for thirty minutes, make sure you don’t exceed that.
  5. Prepare the points to be discussed in the meeting well in advance in priority so that you are ready with what you want to bring up in the order of it’s priority.
  6. Try to have an interactive session if possible. This will allow the attendees to participate in it.
  7. End the meeting with a strong conclusion. Never end a meeting vaguely as it would only leave the attendees confused.
  8. Wrap up the last five to ten minutes with the important points from the meeting. This will act as a recap for the participants.
  9. During the meeting if you feel that a topic or a conversation took up some of your time, try an increase the pace from there on so that you are able to wrap up the meeting in the set time limit.
  10. Thank all the participants for attending it and spending their precious time for listening to you.

Always remember, a meeting is called to serve a purpose or convey a message to the participants. It should always end on a positive note no matter what. Also, since people are leaving their work aside to attend this meeting, make sure that the meeting is effective and benefits one and all.

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